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Receding water levels in Cali reveal plane at bottom of lake

Wednesday, June 23rd 2021, 9:21 am - For now, the plane will stay at the bottom of the lake.

California is battling widespread dry conditions, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a drought emergency for much of the state. The lack of rain has elevated the wildfire risk and jeopardized many of the crops grown within the state's more than 10 million hectares of farmland.

At Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, water levels have receded enough to unveil a surprising discovery: A mostly in-tact airplane resting at the bottom.

The discovery was made by researchers from Seafloor Systems, who were testing new sonar equipment in the lake earlier this month when they happened upon the crash site.

Plane found at bottom of Folsom Lake. Credit: Seafloor Systems Mystery plane found in California lake turns out to be from 1986 crash. (Credit: Seafloor Systems)

The shallow lake made it easier for a survey team to get clear photos, and it was initially thought they had found the Piper Comanche 250 that crashed in 1965, killing all four people on board. Three of the bodies were never recovered.

But after a dive team was sent to the area, crews were able to get a clear view of the craft's tail number, which was not visible in the sonar images.

The in-person investigation revealed the plane is not from the 1965 accident but rather, a 1986 crash that did not involve any fatalities.

It's not clear what will happen to the plane now that it has been discovered, but for now officials say it will remain at the bottom of the lake.

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