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2 Planes Collide Over San Pablo Bay; Coast Guard Searching For Pilot

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Coast Guard boats search for a missing pilot after two planes collided over San Pablo Bay Sunday. (CBS)

Coast Guard boats search for a missing pilot after two planes collided over San Pablo Bay Sunday. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A pilot remained missing Sunday night after his small plane crashed into San Pablo Bay following a midair collision with another small plane near Richmond shortly after 4 p.m., authorities said.

The crash occurred at about 4:05 p.m. and involved a single-engine Cessna 210 that went into the water and a single-engine Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20 that landed safely at the Eagle’s Nest Airport in Ione in Amador County at about 4:45 p.m., spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The Cessna crashed about a mile north of the Brother Islands, which are west of Point San Pablo and near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump said.

She said nine boats, including four Coast Guard vessels, and two helicopters searched for the pilot but they only found debris that was presumed to be from the Cessna. Greger said the pilot was the only person on board the Cessna.

Amador County Undersheriff Jim Wegner said the Hawker Sea Fury landed safety with a pilot and a passenger, a husband and wife, on board.

Wegner said he was told that the Cessna and the Hawker Sea Fury were both returning from a photo shoot in Half Moon Bay.

The annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines show, which features cars, show planes and custom motorcycles, was held in Half Moon Bay today but Wegner said he couldn’t confirm that the two planes had been at the event.

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.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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