Crews recover plane, body of pilot from San Pablo Bay

A marine salvage company has recovered the fuselage of a plane and the body of its pilot from the San Pablo Bay.
April 30, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The wreckage of a plane involved in a fatal plane crash last weekend and its pilot have been recovered from the San Pablo Bay.

Recovery divers say raising the plane wreckage was difficult because of the strong currents and murky water in San Pablo Bay.

The body of the pilot arrived with the wreckage at the Richmond Marina on Wednesday, where NTSB investigators began examining the engine of the Cessna 210.

"You document as much as you can on the engine, the condition of it, spark plugs tell you a tale," said NTSB Sr. Safety Investigator Howard Plagens.

Plagens says the Cessna pilot, whose name has not yet been released, was preparing to snap a photo of a vintage Korean War-era fighter plane as it passed by.

"The pilot said that he was planning to pass on the left side," Plagens said. "Low and to left."

Witnesses say the vintage plane banked left and suddenly the Cessna went into a tail spin. Both pilots worked for Sanders Aircraft, which specializes in vintage planes. The NTSB says the vintage plane pilot flew back to the company hangar in Amador County, and did not take a blood alcohol test.

When asked if there is a protocol involving testing the pilot's blood, Plagens answered, "No. That'll be what I'll look into, but no it's not standard."

The investigator plans to release his report within the next five working days.


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