Pilot dead in overnight small plane crash near Livermore

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU and wires) -- A man is dead after crashing the plane he was flying in rural Alameda County Thursday morning, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the Santa Clara County Airports administration.

Acting Director of Santa Clara County Airports Eric Peterson said investigators found the plane at about 8:30 a.m.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson identified the location as a rural area of hills and trees between Pleasanton, Dublin, Castro Valley and Hayward, near Rowell Ranch Rodeo. Nelson said there are no homes close by and so it's likely no one heard the crash.

Nelson said the crash started a small grass fire that extinguished itself due to the rain, fog and mist in the area.

Preliminary information Friday from the Federal Aviation Administration initially said the crash occurred near Livermore.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said that according to preliminary information a single-engine Cessna 210 en route to Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose from Concord was reported as overdue on Thursday. Gregor said he could not confirm the tail number for the aircraft.

The tail number is like a license plate number for a plane.

Peterson said when pilots file a flight plan they indicate when they will depart and when they will arrive at their destination. When the plane arrives, the pilot usually calls the control tower and the air traffic controllers will close out the flight plan, Peterson said.

If the pilot does not call in, the FAA will initiate a search by calling airports along the plane's planned route to see if the pilot landed and failed to call the tower, Peterson said.

"And that's the call we got," Peterson said.

Gregor said that according to local authorities the pilot was the only person on board. Nelson confirmed that.

Nelson said officials with the coroner's bureau have retrieved the body.

Gregor said officials with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash. The NTSB will be the lead investigating agency, Gregor said.