UPDATE: Single-Engine Plane Crashes Near Alameda Sunday, Pilot Killed

Officials say they were no passengers in the World War II-era aircraft.

Alameda firefighters were working into darkness Sunday night in an effort to retrieve the body of 73-year-old Richard Manuel of San Mateo, who died after his World War II-era plane crashed Sunday afternoon.

The craft went nose first into the shores of San Leandro Bay, just off the popular biking and walking trail that circles the area known  as "Mount Trashmore," near Doolittle Drive and Harbor Bay Parkway.

The plane had taken off from a runway at Oakland International Airport's North Field.

"My understanding is that there were some people on the pathway," said Lt. Joe McNiff of the Alameda Police Department, who was on scene Sunday night. "And they attempted to render aid but they were unable to get the individual out."

A host of public agencies responded to the accident, including the Alameda police and fire departments, Oakland police and fire departments, and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

"It was a single-engine aircraft that departed the Oakland Airport at about 3:30 p.m," said Rosemary Barnes, a spokeswoman for the aiport. "It gained a couple hundred feet of altitude and then was no longer able to continue to do so."

There were no details available regarding the cause of the accident, said Barnes. 

"They're working on getting him out," said a witness on scene who declined to be named. "He's stuck in there pretty deep. It's sad and dramatic, not something you see every day."

The Navion plane that crashed is a five-seat aircraft built in the U.S. in 1947, Barnes said.

"We're just really sorry for what happened here," Barnes said. "It's a very somber mood."

Operations at the airport were not impacted by the crash. "We have staff here, and we're here  to assist and do whatever we can," Barnes said. The FAA will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash, she said. 

joel April 05, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Cindy , I strongly believe that Gary did not mean ill to the Pilot which had called an emergency but did not maske it back most likely due to lack of speed . On the other hand I agree even more strongly with the noise , and the court have rule very much against the Oakland airport and the expansion , saying they are not responsible for the noise from the north runaway is like taking a smog test on a v8 engine and checking only 4 cylinders ......
joel April 05, 2011 at 05:03 PM
@Phil Cooper you are from san jose , why don't you take issue in your community they need lot of help , are you another gun for hire by Suncal? or is it by the Port of Oakland? Either way we like peace here , that's why we have Police Officers which enforce noise the speed limit by the book .
joel April 05, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Pretty vulgar comment .
joel April 05, 2011 at 05:07 PM
difference Gary is not vulgar you are .
Carol Parker April 05, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Let's face it - those of us on Bay Farm ( in the older area closest to the airport) are subjected to phenomenal airplane noise when the North Field is in use (on rainy days and often on Sundays). Cindy is right - there are rules and the pilots don't always follow them. There is an FAA number at the airport that we call to tell them the time an especially loud or low plane flies overhead and they make note of it - but who knows if there is any follow-up. Some planes come in very very low right over our homes. The altitude they are flying just simply cannot be legal. They are sometimes almost touching our rooftops - truly. It is like living right at the edge of the runway. We have lived in two residences here - one on the flight path where the planes came down over our alley behind out house and now where they come directly over our neighborhood - generally two houses away from us. To me it seems that the volume of private corporate jets has increased over the past 10 years and it is that air traffic which mosts impacts Bay Farm homes and especially impacts us whenever the weather is considered "bad". What constitutes bad I am not sure - sometimes it just cloudy, not particularly rainy, when they use the North Field and sometimes it is a Sunday when planes are using it. I think those of us who have made the trade off to live in this neighborhood put up with a lot and generally do not complain EXCEPT when the planes flying over us ignore the rules and come in way too low.


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