Sunday afternoon a 1947 Navion single engine plane crashed into a muddy bank of the San Leandro Bay, a little pocket of water between Alameda, Oakland Airport and the Coliseum. The pilot died on impact. It was reported in several papers , including the Merc News. It was not a plane from WWII as some noted, it had just recently been decorated in a U.S. Air Force paint scheme about a year and a half ago.
Monday morning, coming back from the Oakland Airport, I stopped by the site. Several TV trucks had parked along the road, and the plane wreckage was visible from Doolittle Drive. I pulled behind the vans and started snapping. Tried to get a good angle on the wreckage, but the water and police lines kept me from getting too close. My 300mm came in handy..
FAA lead investigator explained they were placing booms around the site in case of leakage, then they were going to remove the wreck and take it Sacramento (where they take all plane wreckage apparently). After the booms were in place, the FAA guys pulled a “Cher” by changing out of white jumpsuits and into green ones. Why? Dunno… During this helicopters from a news station and coast guard passed by to check out the action.
Then a different crew of four guys in jeans pulled up with the long trailer. They backed it onto the model airplane field, and set it on angle. Then moved truck up to crash site to start pulling the plane out of the mud using a winch. They wrapped lines around the fuselage and slowly started to pull it, till the tail flopped over. Then they got out a giant saws-all, sliced off the tail section and set on shore. I thought they’d take more care with the “evidence,” but the key investigation and photos where completed. They only needed to move it to storage until any follow-up investigations or law suits were completed, after which they would release the plane (parts).