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US investigator: Planes collided over San Francisco Bay as 1 attempted to pass the other

Coast Guard vessels continue to search the waters of San Pablo Bay on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Richmond, Calif. A federal transportation safety official arrived Monday in Northern California to investigate a collision between two small planes that sent one crashing into the San Francisco Bay. The collision occurred Sunday near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and involved a single-engine Cessna 210 and a single-engine Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Laura A. Oda)

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Coast Guard vessels continue to search the waters of San Pablo Bay on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Richmond, Calif. A federal transportation safety official arrived Monday in Northern California to investigate a collision between two small planes that sent one crashing into the San Francisco Bay. The collision occurred Sunday near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and involved a single-engine Cessna 210 and a single-engine Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Laura A. Oda)

RICHMOND, Calif. - Investigators say the two planes that collided over San Francisco Bay, causing one of them to crash into the water, were involved in a passing manoeuvr.

Howard Plagens of the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that the pilot of a vintage Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20 heard a "thump" after the manoeuvr and immediately focused on trying to fly his own plane to safety.

The investigator says the pilot saw the Cessna 210 going down, but did not see it crash Sunday afternoon.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office said searchers have located the Cessna under 13 feet of water, but the plane and its pilot haven't been recovered.

Plagens said the surviving pilot managed to land safely but he is shaken.

The identities of the pilots have not been released.

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