Houston oil consultant dead in plane crash in Point Reyes wilderness

09/21/2017

A Houston man was found dead on Sept. 8 after his single-engine plane crashed in the Point Reyes National Seashore. John Wilson, a 58-year-old born in London who lived all over the world, was flying to Santa Rosa from Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County in a rented Cessna 172 aircraft when the plane went down. Though other news reports indicated that he was fleeing Hurricane Harvey, his wife of 14 years, Christine Wilson, said he was in California for business. (He worked as an oil and gas consultant for at firm Scorpio Resources.) The Coast Guard first received an emergency signal on the afternoon of Sept. 7, located offshore near the southern end of the seashore. After another signal came in from land, a search and rescue effort involving about 30 members of the National Park Service, the county Sheriff’s Office and fire department, the Bolinas Volunteer Fire Department and other agencies lasted until 3 a.m. before it was called off due to unsafe conditions. The search resumed around 8 a.m., and the plane was found by midday near the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. “Searchers hiked through very steep terrain full of poison oak and coyote brush, which made hiking very difficult, and in places searchers had to cut through the brush to create paths to the location of the plane,” John Dell’Osso, spokesman for the Point Reyes National Seashore, said.