While testing underwater equipment a hydrographic surveying marine company found wreckage of a small airplane deep underwater in California’s Folsom Lake, believed to be from 56 years ago.
Sonar images show the outline of the plane, covered in a thick layer of silt, about 160 feet below the lake’s surface, Seafloor Systems environmental technician Jeff Riley said.
The company specializes in mapping marine areas like lakes and ponds. They first realized something might be down there when they were going through data collected while testing a small unmanned surveying boat.
It was able to detect wreckage because water levels at Folsom Lake are low because of the extreme drought conditions plaguing much of the Western United States.
The lake is located about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento.
They were able to collect images of the tail section of the plane and the propeller. It matched the description of a plane that crashed in 1965.
A Piper Comanche 250 crashed into the lake on New Year’s Day after a mid-air collision, according to KOVR.
The pilot’s body was recovered, but authorities never found the plane or the three passengers who were on board, KOVR reported.
Authorities tried to find the plane in 2014, but were unsuccessful after a three-day search