The plane that crashed offshore belonged to Sergey Brin’s company
The fuel-starved plane that plunged into the Pacific Ocean while trying to reach Half Moon Bay on Saturday belonged to the financial investment firm of billionaire Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
A statement from Bayshore Global Management sent to The Times on Monday evening confirmed ownership of the plane, which had been blocked from Federal Aviation Administration tracking services and registered with a trust operated by a Utah bank.
The Coast Guard on Monday declined to release the names of the two people who died on board.
“Unfortunately, we can confirm that an aircraft associated with our office, a De Havilland DHC6-400 Twin Otter seaplane, suffered an accident at sea during a ferry flight,” a spokesperson for the house said. Palo Alto de Brin investment in a press release. “We send our deepest condolences to the families of the crew on board. We are providing assistance to the families and will continue to do so for as long as necessary. Similarly, we are working to ensure that all available resources are ready to contribute. recovery efforts once weather and sea conditions provide safer conditions.
Bayshore Global is a family office, managing some $100 billion in assets for Brin, and renowned for its confidentiality.
In their last minutes of life, the two pilots aboard the Twin Otter turboprop were reassured by air traffic control: “Hang on guys. We will pick you up.
The red and white Twin Otter hit the water 32 miles west of Half Moon Bay on Saturday and was not heard from again.
When a helicopter from nearby San Francisco arrived on the scene 15 minutes later, the plane was flipped over, its cockpit submerged. A rescue swimmer who jumped into the water found the occupants still inside the aircraft, lifeless. According to US Coast Guard policy, without air tanks, the swimmer could not enter the submerged compartment.
The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter, plane and two boats to the scene of Saturday afternoon’s crash, according to interviews and flight records. But in the end, the plane and its victims were left at sea. An unidentified insurance company is now in charge of determining the next steps.
On Monday, an emergency response company hired by the insurer had not informed the Coast Guard of its plans to recover the bodies of the victims, Petty Officer Matthew West said.
This company, Fireside Partners, did not immediately respond to a call from a reporter.
West said the alleged identities of the plane’s occupants are known, but the Coast Guard is withholding those names at the request of family members. Bayshore Global has also not publicly identified the pilots.
A spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board said the salvage company attempted to locate and recover the plane on Sunday but had to turn back due to “high seas”. On Monday, she said, he postponed recovery efforts until later in the week, citing offshore weather. The area is under gale warning until Wednesday.
The plane departed at 8:05 a.m. Saturday from a Sonoma County airstrip in Santa Rosa, with one of the pilots happily telling the control tower that they were heading for Honolulu.
Such a long trip would be heavily dependent on the small plane’s “ferry” fuel tanks, which according to FAA records were installed to provide supplemental fuel to the main tank. Flight records reviewed by The Times show the plane since August has made frequent long trips – to Panama, Atlanta, Miami, the Turks and Caicos Islands – but has often stopped en route. A December trip from Sacramento to the British Virgin Islands, for example, included stops in El Paso and Miami and lasted three days.
“Clear for Honolulu,” the pilot said, repeating instructions for altitude and to proceed to Oakland Central Air Traffic Control Tower once at altitude.
Flight tracking records show the plane returned over the Pacific Ocean four hours later, heading back east towards Santa Rosa. For the next hour, Oakland’s central tower attempted to call the plane, even attempting to relay communications via passing planes.
Then at 1:15 p.m. it turned east, on a direct course to a community airfield near Half Moon Bay.
At some point, air traffic communications was established with the occupants of the Twin Otter. Air traffic recordings shared by liveatc.net capture a radio operator at 1:30 p.m. asking, “What color is your craft, and what color is your life raft?”
The answer is scrambled, but a Coast Guard marine broadcast shortly after told sailors to be on the lookout for a yellow life raft.
At 1:44 p.m., a passing jet from the southwest was informed of an intended sea landing, south of the Farallon Islands, and asked to “see if he was doing well”.
The commercial pilot later replied that the low clouds made it difficult to see the water.
At 1:47 p.m., the crew of the Twin Otter was asked to turn on the distress beacons on board their plane. “Okay, we’ll try to do that,” replied a pilot.
At 1:52 p.m., a tower operator radioed the Twin Otter that the Coast Guard had a fix on its location and was dispatching assistance. “Do you have any flares?”
“I don’t believe…but there’s something inside the life raft here.”
“Just to give you an update, the Coast Guard has your last known location here, and they’ll be dispatching a helicopter shortly. So again, hang in there guys. We’ll be picking you up.
“Welcome. I very much appreciate your help,” one pilot replied.
There were no further transmissions from the aircraft.
Flight tracking records, accessible via Flightrader24, show the Twin Otter stopped moving at 1:54 p.m. and its signal was lost two minutes later.
A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter took off from San Francisco International Airport at 2:05 p.m. and arrived on scene at 2:15 p.m., at which time a spokeswoman for the National Safety Transportation Board said the agency used the official time of the accident.
The federal agency is investigating “reports that pilots were unable to transfer fuel from the ferry’s extra tanks to the main tanks,” spokeswoman Sarah Stulick said. This report is not expected for several weeks.
Los Angeles Times