San Pablo Bay plane crash witness: ‘It’s like watching somebody die’

A woman who witnessed two small planes collide over San Pablo Bay near San Francisco on Sunday described the sense of horror she felt as she realized that it was not a stunt.

“It’s like watching somebody die in front of you,” Bonny Dunn, a mechanic who works for Southwest at the Oakland International Airport told NBC Bay Area. “You know there is no possible way you can survive.”

She described seeing the Cessna “spiraling down” after the midair collision and crashing into San Pablo Bay. Efforts by the Coast Guard to find the pilot had so far been unsuccessful Monday.

The collision involved a Cessna 210 and a Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20, which collided about 4:05 p.m. Sunday, said Ian Gregor, public affairs manager for the Federal Aviation Administration.


Both planes departed from Half Moon Bay Airport, he added.

Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor owner Eric Johnson told NBC Bay Area that his wife also witnessed the crash and said the Cessna “lost a wing and spiraled into the water and hit hard.”

The Hawker landed safely at a Northern California airport and its pilot was reportedly not injured, Gregor said. The Coast Guard, meanwhile, launched four rescue boats and a helicopter to search the waters.

Rescuers had located the debris, but as of midday Monday, there were no signs of the pilot, officials said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are invesigating the incident.