Fontana, CA Private Plane Crashes, Jul 1983


Fontana - The pilot of a small plane was killed late Wednesday or early Thursday when he smashed into a ridge in the San Gabriel Mountains north of here.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials would not release the name of the pilot, who was flying his two-seat Citabria aircraft alone when he crashed, San Bernardino County sheriff's officials said.
However, U.S. Civil Air Patrol officials said the plane matched a description of a plane reported missing from Brackett Field in Pomona Thursday morning.
The pilot of that plane, FRANK CUMMARUSTI, 53, of West Covina, filed a flight plan for local flying, leaving and returning to Brackett Field, said Lt. Col. Billie LeClair of the Civil Air Patrol.
CUMMARUSTI was reported missing to the patrol's local base Thursday morning, LeClair said.
Identification with his name was found in the crashed plane, although the San Bernardino County Coroner's office has not officially identified the body, sheriff's officials said.
A Civil Air Patrol pilot spotted the downed plane at 10:03 a.m. about the 5,000-foot level on San Sevnine Ridge, above Cherry Avenue in Fontana, sheriff's Deputy Laura Lewein said.
Three members of the sheriff's Fontana substation search and rescue team were airlifted by sheriff's helicopter to the crash scene arriving at about 10:45 a.m. said Sgt. Norm King, team coordinator.
"When we first arrived, we observed that the aircraft had come almost straight in, with little skidding," King said. "We couldn't see the pilot until we had cut the brush away."
King said the pilot had numerous serious injuries, including a number of extreme fractures of the skull.
It took the team 2-3 hours to cut away enough of the plane's cockpit to remove the body, King said. It was airlifted to the county morgue at about 1:45 p.m.

San Bernardino County Sun California 1983-07-15