Coast Guard searches for pilot after two planes collide over Bay 

The U.S. Coast Guard searched for a pilot in the northern part of San Francisco Bay on Sunday after two small planes collided over the water and only one of the aircraft landed safely, authorities said.

The planes crashed at about 4 p.m., sending one of the planes, a Cessna 210, into the San Pablo Bay waters about 1 mile north of Brother Island near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump said. The pilot of the second plane, a single-engine Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20, was able to land safely at Eagle's Nest Airport in the small city of Ione, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. The pilot was reportedly uninjured.

Gregor said each aircraft in the collision off the city of Richmond had one person on board. Both planes took off from Half Moon Bay Airport, Gregor said.

The Coast Guard searched the waters with four boats and a helicopter. Boats from five other local agencies had also responded, as well as two other agencies’ helicopters. It wasn’t immediately known if the pilot of the Cessna survived.

click to enlarge Richmond Bridge
  • AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file
  • This Sept. 30, 2009 file photo shows the Richmond Bridge in Richmond, Calif. Two planes collided near the bridge today, sending one into the water.

“We’ve seen lots of debris but no persons yet,” Crump said.

FAA records indicate the Hawker is registered to Sanders Aeronautics Inc. in Ione. A man who answered the phone at the company's listed number declined to comment. Sanders Aeronautics' website said the family-run company specializes in aircraft restoration and that its family members are avid air racers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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