Wreckage from single engine plane found in Castro Valley, pilot identified

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Alameda County Fire crews reported Tuesday afternoon that they had located the wreckage from a missing single engine plane off of Palomares Road in Castro Valley. Officials say the body found near the wreckage is presumed to be the pilot's. 

The Sheriff's department confirms he was the only person on board. Family members confirmed to a Fox TV station affiliate in Sacramento that the pilot's identity was that of 60-year-old John Sacco of Rocklin. He was an industrial hygienist and safety engineer for Earthshine Consulting.

Crews won’t be able to recover the body until the weather clears, possibly on Wednesday. First responders said heavy fog was a major issue in their search for wreckage. Dozens of firefighters, deputies and other personnel, hiked, used ATVs and even a drone in their search for the missing plane. 

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot of a Piper PA-32 single-engine plane at about 11:30 a.m. as the plane was en route from Lincoln in Placer County to Oakland, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

"It looks like the plane may have clipped some treetops before crashing into the ground," said J.D. Nelson, Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. spokesman. He added it was difficult terrain. 

The plane was about 12-miles east of Oakland International Airport, FAA officials said.

The Alameda County Fire Department received reports of a downed aircraft near Sunol at 12:02 p.m., fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

Alameda County Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Kramm said they found the wreckage after spotting a small amount of smoke. He said there was heavy timber, brush and a muddy slope. 

"It was a heavy impact," Kramm said.