While an investigation continued Tuesday into the crash of a single-engine airplane about 12 miles north-northwest of Palm Springs International Airport, the two people who died in the crash were identified as a Korean national and a Los Angeles woman.
The pilot, Jungho Ju, 32, a Korean national, and his passenger, Jaeryung Rachel Park, 28, of Los Angeles, died when the Cessna 172 crashed en route to North Las Vegas Airport around 6:15 p.m. Feb. 5, according to the coroner’s office and federal officials.
The pair took off at 5:30 p.m. that day from San Gabriel Valley Airport near El Monte, authorities said. The plane wound up crashing into a hillside
The pilot’s body was recovered Feb. 6 inside the wreckage of the plane. Authorities initially thought he was the only person aboard, but a search team located Park’s body the next day.
The FAA notified the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department about 7 p.m. Feb. 5 that the pilot had not reached his destination and asked for help in locating the plane, according to Deputy Mike Vasquez.
The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit located the wreckage in the early morning hours of Feb. 6, he said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were still investigating the cause of the crash.