The wreckage of a missing plane that went down in San Pablo Bay on Sunday was found this afternoon about 1.5 miles off of the Richmond shoreline, Contra Costa County sheriff’s officials said.
Authorities are still trying to determine the condition of the single-engine Cessna 210, which went down after a midair collision with another aircraft at 4:05 p.m. Sunday, sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.
The Contra Costa County sheriff’s Marine Patrol Unit, the National Transportation Safety Board and a salvage company are working to recover the plane, which was found in 13-foot-deep water and may be in several pieces, Lee said.
He did not say whether the plane’s pilot has been found.
The U.S. Coast Guard has determined the pilot’s name but has not released that information publicly because authorities are still working to contact the pilot’s family, Lt. Joshua Dykman said earlier today.
The pilot was the only person on board.
The Coast Guard suspended its search at noon today after searching about 40 square miles with the assistance of multiple other law enforcement agencies, Coast Guard officials said.
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, 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/Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News