Small plane crashes into San Leandro Bay

April 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the East Bay, a single-engine plane crashed into the estuary just east of the Oakland Airport.

The small plane went down around 3:40 p.m. in the water near Doolittle Drive and Harbor Way Parkway. The pilot had just taken off from the Oakland Airport and was seen having engine trouble by witnesses from the ground. The FAA reports the pilot was the only one on board and he was killed.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Oakland and Alameda County firefighters responded to the crash.

ABC7 spoke to witnesses who were across the street playing soccer when they noticed the plane having problems. The engine cut out, they say, and then the pilot was headed straight for a recreational area where a family was sitting at a picnic table.

"The airplane [came] around here, probably through the shoreline, the engine cut off and he crashed into the shoreline right there. But I guess he was trying to level it, but there was a family there and I guess he didn't want to kill them or anything?we rushed over to try to help him out, all of us and my dad as well, and tried to get him out, but the mud was too dense," said witness Christian Ontiveros.

The plane was manufactured in 1947 and was registered out of San Mateo County. The pilot has been identified as 73-year-old Richard Manuel.

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