JULIAN, Calif. -

Authorities say two people were killed when their small plane crashed in the mountains near Julian.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said the single-engine Piper Mooney went missing and was discovered early Thursday after a ground search.

The U-T San Diego reports the plane left Palm Springs Wednesday and was headed for Gillespie Field when it lost contact.

Weather forecasters said there were gusty winds in the area, forcing sheriff's deputies to suspend their helicopter search.

A search-and-rescue team found the wreckage shortly before 1 a.m. in the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, north of Julian. The victims' names were not immediately released.