Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department Finds Missing Plane That Fell Into Bay

A missing plane that went down in San Pablo Bay Sunday afternoon has been located by the Contra Costa County sheriff’s Infrastructure Protection Team, sheriff’s officials said today.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search at noon today for a pilot and the plane he was flying that went down after a midair collision with another aircraft on Sunday and turned over the search to the sheriff’s office, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Joshua Dykman said.

The sheriff’s office said on Twitter at 2:13 p.m. that the plane had been located but did not provide further details.

The Coast Guard has determined the name of the single-engine Cessna 210’s pilot but has not released that information publicly because authorities are still working to contact the pilot’s family, Dykman said.

Some debris had been found in the water as of this morning, Dykman said. The pilot was the only person on board.

The plane went down about a mile north of the Brother Islands, near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, after colliding with a single-engine Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20 at 4:05 p.m., FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said Sunday. The Hawker landed safely at the Eagle’s Nest Airport in Amador County at about 4:45 p.m.

Amador County Undersheriff Jim Wegner said Sunday that there were two people on board the Hawker when it landed, a husband and wife who were returning from a photo shoot in Half Moon Bay along with the Cessna.

The annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines show, which features cars, show planes and custom motorcycles, was held in Half Moon Bay on Sunday.

According to FAA records, the Hawker Sea Fury is owned by Sanders Aircraft Inc. in Ione and was manufactured in 1956.

The company’s website says the firm is operated by brothers Dennis and Brian Sanders.

The website says, “The Sanders family are also well known throughout the warbird industry as the ‘Sea Fury Kings’ and have been an air racing dynasty at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, where they have successfully raced their Sea Furies ‘Dreadnought’ and ‘Argonaut.’”

The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft that was used in World War II and the Korean War.

Gregor said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the collision and the NTSB is the lead investigative agency.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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