Plane crashes into San Francisco Bay

A pilot and a passenger of a small plane escaped without major injuries Wednesday after they crashed into the waters of the San Francisco Bay.

Pilot Bruce Moody and passenger Matthew Barcelona had been taking aerial photographs of the Bay Area when their engine lost power and crashed into San Francisco Bay near the Bay Bridge toll plaza at 1:51 p.m., they told officials.

A U.S. Coast Guard boat with five crewmembers aboard arrived at the plane, which crashed about 1,000 yards from search and rescue training operations, in about five minutes, according to Chief Ray Codd.

The boat “nosed up” to the wing of the plane, where the two men were sitting, he said.

The men were “mildly hypothermic,” so they were transferred to a 25-foot Coast Guard boat with a cabin, which allowed them to warm up while they were taken to the agency's base on Yerba Buena Island, according to Codd.

An ambulance was waiting for the men at the island, according to Codd. He said they didn't appear to have received any major injuries.

The 19-year old single-engine Cessna was operated by Santa Clara-based aerial photograph company Air Flight Service. A company spokesperson was not immediately available for comment on the crash.

As of 3 p.m., only the tail remained visible above the water; the rest submerged under water.

The plane's owners are responsible for salvaging the Cessna, according to a Coast Guard statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

Jupton@sfexaminer.com

Examiner staff writers Will Reisman and Tamara Barak contributed to this report

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