Woman's body, wreckage found after plane crashes into ocean in Half Moon Bay, California

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after a small plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean in Northern California and a woman's body was found in the sea near the wreckage.

An FAA spokesperson told USA TODAY a single-engine Cozy Mark IV crashed into water on Sunday near Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

Aviation officials said the crash took place about 7:30 p.m. and two people were on board the plane.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office reported the aircraft took off from the East Bay and shortly after, authorities responded to reports of "a small airplane flying erratically near Moss Beach."

A Cozy Mark IV airplane sits in a hangar.

Witnesses observed the aircraft before it disappeared from sight and, the sheriff's office reported, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and a California Highway Patrol plane were deployed to assist local first responders.

The plane, according to the sheriff's office, was later found upside down in the water near Ross Cove.

Body found in water by fishing boat

Later that evening, local authorities reported, debris was found in the ocean near the coastline, "consistent with parts from a plane."

On Monday, crews on a commercial fishing boat found a woman's body in the water around where the plane crashed. The body was taken to the coroner's office and an identity is still being determined.

"It is thought she is likely associated with the plane crash given she was located in the same location," officials wrote in the news release.

As of Tuesday, the second person on board had not been located.

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Cause of plane crash still under investigation

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson told KGO-TV crews scoured nearly 30 square miles by helicopter and by boat after the crash searching for victims.

The search was called off Monday night, the outlet reported.

The passengers identities have not been released by officials.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation on Tuesday by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at and follow her on X @nataliealund.