HAYWARD (BCN) — A small plane that crashed on BART tracks in Hayward on Sunday, killing the pilot, was registered to a long-time Bay Area resident who works for a Korea-based semiconductor manufacturer.
The pilot of the Piper PA-23-150 was the only person on board and was killed in the crash, which was reported just before noon on transfer tracks near BART’s Hayward Maintenance Complex. The Alameda County coroner’s bureau has not confirmed the identity of the pilot.
According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane was registered to Robert Pursel Jr. of Hawaii. A pilot registry also lists an address in Fremont. According to his LinkedIn profile, Pursel is the director of investor relations at MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp. and is based in
A former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Pursel has worked in the tech industry since 1995. He attended University of California at Berkeley and Santa Clara University and is a certified flight instructor, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The plane’s pilot had departed from Hayward Executive Airport, about 4 miles from the crash site, and had apparently planned to return there, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating why the plane crashed.
NTSB officials said an investigator with the agency went to the crash scene on Sunday and returned today. The investigators did an initial documentation of the accident site and interviewed one witness who came forward. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
A small fire broke out when the plane crashed, prompting a response from the Alameda County and Hayward fire departments. BART service was shut down between the South Hayward and Fremont stations for more than two hours, according to BART officials.
The plane damaged the BART tracks, some of the surrounding equipment and a fence.
BART service resumed in time to transport sports fans leaving an Oakland A’s baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum and arriving at Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena with only moderate delays.