Cessna Pilot Missing After Midair Collision With Air Racing Plane

Sunday afternoon, a Cessna 210 was being used as an aerial photography plane to shoot a Hawker Sea Fury racing plane. Somehow, the two planes collided, sending the Cessna into San Pablo Bay, north of San Francisco. The pilot is still unaccounted for, while the Sea Fury was able to land safely. Little about the incident is known at this time, but the FAA and NTSB are on the scene to investigate.

Last night, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump said nine boats, including four Coast Guard vessels, and two helicopters searched for the missing Cessna pilot but they only found debris. The site the Cessna impacted the water about a mile north of the Brother Islands, which are west of Point San Pablo and near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

A Cessna 210 like this one crashed into San Pablo Bay after colliding with a Hawker Sea Fury. Photo by Laika on Flickr, for Creative Commons commercial use.

According to Sanders Aeronautics, who owns the Hawker Sea Fury T Mk.20 "Dreadnought" (pictured at top) involved in the collision, the plane was manufactured in 1956 and was originally with the Burmese Air Force. The Sanders family acquired the plane in 1979 and had it shipped in crates to Chino, California. Her engine was replaced with a 4000+ horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major which is America's biggest production piston engine power plant. When she first appeared on the racing stage at the 1983 Reno Air Races, she became the fastest Unlimited qualifier and won the Unlimited title with a speed of 425.242 miles per hour.


Source: SF Appeal

Top Image: "Dreadnought" by Bryce Edwards on Flickr, for Creative Commons commercial use.

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