PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities Thursday morning found the wreckage of a small plane that broke from its moorings at a rural Sonoma County airstrip and took off without a pilot.
A California Highway Patrol plane spotted the mangled plane near the dam at Lake Berryessa in Napa County. There was no sign of fire and no one was hurt.
No one was sure how the Aeronca Champion, a small two-seat plane from the 1950s, took off by itself Wednesday afternoon from a small farm airstrip. Highway patrol officials said it flew about 20 miles before crashing.
The owner, whose name was not released, "was working on the engine, I guess, and it got away from him," Sonoma County sheriff's spokesman Phil Coughlin said.
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