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Body of pilot in midair collision recovered from submerged wreckage

The body of a pilot who went missing after a midair collision over waters in San Francisco has been recovered
The pilots in the midair collision over San Francisco waters knew each other

The body of a pilot who went missing after his Cessna collided midair with another small plane in waters off San Francisco was recovered Wednesday from inside the wreckage.

Working with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office, a marine salvage company recovered the plane's fuselage from San Pablo Bay around 4:30 p.m., three days after the collision sent the Cessna 210 plunging into the water, NBC Bay Area reported. The pilot's name was not immediately released.

The pilot had been presumed dead after rescue crews from the U.S. Coast Guard had been unable to locate him more than a day after the crash.

The collision occurred about 4:05 p.m. Sunday when the pilot of a vintage Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20 pulled up to the left side of the Cessna for a passing maneuver and heard a "thump," according to an account from National Transportation Safety Board investigator Howard Plagens carried by KGO-TV.

As the Cessna spiraled down, the Sea Fury pilot focused on landing his plane safely. It was unclear why the two pilots, who knew each other, were flying so close during the maneuver, officials said.

The pilot of the Sea Furry and his wife landed safely and were uninjured.

Search crews reportedly found the wreckage of the Cessna in 13 feet of water, approximately 1½ miles off of the Richmond shoreline.

Over the course of two interviews since the collision, the surviving pilot told Plagens he did not witness the Cessna actually hit the water, KGO-TV reported.

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jason.wells@latimes.com

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