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UPDATED: Pilot Who Crashed Into San Pablo Bay Still Missing

The two aircraft, a Hawker Sea Fury and Cessna, that collided Sunday afternoon were reportedly returning to Ione after participating in Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show at Half Moon Bay Airport.

San Pablo Bay. Credit: www.pickleweed.org.
San Pablo Bay. Credit: www.pickleweed.org.
UPDATED: Sunday, April 27, 9:15 p.m. 

A pilot remains missing tonight after his small plane crashed into San Pablo Bay following a midair collision with another small plane near Richmond shortly after 4 p.m. today, 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.

(On the event's Facebook page, however, organizers did confirm the two planes were at the day's event, and offered hopes and prayers for the search's outcome. Details here.)

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.

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UPDATED: Sunday, April 27, 8:15 p.m.


Two small airplanes collided near Richmond shortly after 4 p.m. today, with one plane crashing into San Pablo Bay and the other landing safely in Amador County about 40 minutes later, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman 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 at the Eagle's Nest Airport in Ione at about 4:45 p.m., spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Each aircraft had one person on board, according to Gregor. The Hawker pilot was reportedly uninjured but the condition of the Cessna pilot isn't known at this time, Gregor said.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Loumania Stewart said four Coast Guard boats and one Coast Guard helicopter are trying to locate the pilot who crashed into San Pablo Bay but so thus far authorities have only found debris, not any people.

Other agencies are assisting the Coast Guard in the search and rescue operation, Stewart said.

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

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Sunday, April 27, 6 p.m.

Two small airplanes collided in airspace near San Pablo Bay at about 4 p.m. today and one of them landed in the Bay, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

One of the planes landed at a local airport but the other landed in San Pablo Bay, Petty Officer Loumania Stewart said.

Four Coast Guard boats and one Coast Guard helicopter are trying to locate people who were in the plane that went into the water but so far they've only found debris, not any people, Stewart said.

Other agencies are assisting the Coast Guard in the search and rescue operation, Stewart said.

--Bay City News

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