The Napa County coroner’s office has identified San Francisco psychiatrist Kenneth Gottlieb as the pilot who died this morning when his plane crashed near the Napa County Airport.

Sheriff’s Lt. Tracey Stuart said Gottlieb, 67, was flying to Bakersfield on business and then intended to fly to New Mexico to meet his wife.

The Gottliebs have homes in Napa and San Francisco, Stuart said. A friend of the Gottlieb family notified Gottlieb’s wife, Gail, of his death and Stuart said she spoke to Gail Gottlieb shortly after noon today.

Gottlieb kept the single-engine Cessna 182 Skylane at the Napa County Airport, Stuart said.

The plane was taking off for Bakersfield around 4:30 a.m. when it crashed into a hillside off Watson Lane east of state Highway 29, near American Canyon, Stuart said.

The crash happened on property owned by Jaeger Vineyards and caused a one-acre grass fire that was quickly extinguished by Cal Fire.

Sheriff’s deputies went to the scene after they noticed a glow on the hillside, Stuart said.
Gottlieb’s body was found outside the plane, Stuart said. He was the only one aboard.

Stuart said results of toxicology tests are pending but there is no indication alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

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