Part-time SJ Island resident missing after plane crash off California coast

A part-time resident of San Juan Island is believed to have died when his airplane crashed off the coast of Pismo Beach, Calif., Tuesday afternoon, according to The San Luis Obispo News Tribune.

Tony Cipolla of the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's office said that unidentified human remains and a wallet with David B. Casey's identification were found about one mile offshore, near the site of the crash. Casey is a part-time resident of California and San Juan Island, with a home and airplane hanger on Cessna Avenue, near Roche Harbor Resort airstrip. He reportedly has not been seen in the Roche Harbor area for several months.

Federal Aviation Administration records list David Casey, 63, and Timothy J. Casey of Avila Beach, Calif, as co-builders of the aircraft, a single-engine Morrisey 2150, made from a kit.

According to the Tribune, witnesses heard a plane flying low overhead and saw a splash in the ocean about a mile off-shore on the afternoon of Jan. 14, at about 2:15 p.m. One witness reportedly heard an explosion. Pismo Beach is roughly 100 miles north of Santa Barbara.

In addition to the wallet and human remains, Cipolla said a search-and-recovery team found an airplane seat in the area of the crash. Authorities believe the plane went down in an area where the depth of water is about 80 feet.

Nearly a half-dozen agencies were called in to help search for the wreckage and the pilot of the plane. Cipolla said authorities have spoken with members of the Casey family but no other information about David Casey or his whereabouts are available at this time.

— Steve Wehrly



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