Pilot who died in Anza Borrego crash identified

ANZA BORREGO (CNS) – The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the pilot who was killed when his plane crashed in the badlands of Anza Borrego State Park.

Max John Mizejewski, 69, was found near the wreckage of the crashed Cessna plane at 7:10 a.m. Saturday on a hillside in Borrego Springs, according to a Medical Examiner’s Office press release. Mizejewski was married, a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita and had rented the Cessna in Riverside County.

The plane, reported missing Friday, was spotted crashed and upside down by a Civil Air Patrol aircraft Saturday morning in a remote area of Anza Borrego State Park known as the Borrego Badlands, San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Jenkins said. The search plane guided a ground search crew via radio to the downed plane, where the crew found Mizejewski dead near the wreckage.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified of Mizejewski’s death Saturday and were expected to begin an investigation today, according to Jenkins.

Family members told the Victor Valley News Group that Mizejewski left Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal at 7:30 a.m. Friday for a flight in a Cessna 162 Skycatcher expected to last about two hours. When he didn’t return by 11 a.m. Friday, his family reported him missing.

According to family members, Mizejewski was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

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