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From Yakima Herald-Republic
YAKAMA RESERVATION – A search for the pilot of a stolen plane is continuing after the single-engine aircraft was seen making a hard landing Wednesday morning in the closed area of the Yakama Nation reservation, authorities said.
The Cessna S-182 was apparently stolen from San Juan County, authorities said.
The plane’s registered owner told investigators he thought the plane was still in its hangar when they called to find out why it was on the reservation, said Ralph Sampson Jr., chairman of the tribal council.
Yakima County search volunteers were going to be called out, but that effort was stopped once coordinators learned that the Cessna had been stolen, sheriff’s Lt. Brian Winter said. That’s standard procedure to protect the searchers.
Sampson said workers headed into the closed area saw the plane circling before it went down about 9:45 a.m. The aircraft was located just over the Mill Creek ridge near Satus Peak.
He said that tribal police were conducting the initial investigation, but he expected the case to be turned over to a federal agency.
San Juan County sheriff’s dispatchers confirmed that the plane was stolen from their jurisdiction. More information was not available Wednesday night.
– Mark Morey and Phil Ferolito