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PILOT WALKS INTO TOWN 9 DAYS AFTER CRASH

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A pilot whose plane crashed Thanksgiving weekend walked into this mountain town Friday after trudging 20 miles through freezing wilderness for nine days.

Two friends who were injured in the crash - but alive when the pilot left the plane - were found dead, authorities said.Peter DeLeo, 33, stayed with the single-engine plane for several days, then walked across rugged terrain in mountainous forests after the Nov. 27 crash about 20 miles from Olancha in the Sierra Nevada.

"I cannot believe this guy walked out of the wilderness and survived," said Col. Sidney Wolfe of the Civil Air Patrol. "They'll make movies about this stuff."

DeLeo and his friends, all from

Long Beach, were on their way to take photos at Mammoth Lake, about 100 miles north of the crash.

Rescuers found the bodies of Waverly Hatch, 49, and Lloyd Matsumoto, 55. One had walked away from the plane; the other was found inside, Wolfe said.

DeLeo looked tired and "beat up," said sheriff's dispatcher Frank Bumgarner, but otherwise was not seriously injured. His first stop in Olancha, about 190 miles from Los Angeles, was at a diner, where he ordered food. Authorities were then called.

DeLeo told police he believed his plane encountered wind shear.

His sister, Denise, said she had been praying since the three disappeared.