Accident – Death – Obituary News : Plane Crash in La Jolla Claims Life of Experienced Pilot
The San Diego County medical examiner’s office has identified the pilot who tragically lost his life last week when his light airplane crashed on a hillside in La Jolla. The pilot has been identified as Michael Salour, a 74-year-old physicist and experienced aviator from Carlsbad.
Salour was operating a single-engine Cessna P210 on a flight from the Bay Area to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad on the night of November 15. However, due to inclement weather, he was forced to make a diversion. After an unsuccessful attempt to land at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in Kearny Mesa, Salour decided to continue flying along the coast to the northwest, despite the fog and rain.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., Salour contacted air traffic controllers, indicating that his plane was running out of fuel. Shortly after this communication, controllers lost contact with him. The wreckage of the aircraft, located near Caminito Claro and Gilman Drive south of La Jolla Village Drive, was discovered by the police just before 2:30 a.m. on November 16. Tragically, Salour’s body was found in the pilot’s seat. He was the sole occupant of the six-seat plane, which came to rest just a few yards away from hilltop residences.
Michael Salour was a highly accomplished individual, having founded several companies based in Carlsbad, including Linkatel, Tactical Air Navigation, and Integrated Photonic Technologies. With over 30 years of experience in the communications and integrated-photonics industries, Salour was renowned for his expertise in developing and commercializing technologies. His professional website states that he held 19 patents in electro-optic and integrated optical technologies.
Prior to establishing his companies, Salour held various research and faculty positions at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Imperial College of Science and Technology.
In addition to his accomplishments in the field of technology, Salour was an avid pilot. He had accumulated more than 17,700 hours of flight time and held an airline-transport license, along with certifications for various types of corporate jets and large aircraft, including the DC-3, DC-9, DC-10, and Boeing 727, 737, and 747 airliners. Salour also possessed flight engineer, flight instructor, and instrument flight instructor certifications.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are currently investigating the cause of the plane crash in La Jolla. The NTSB is expected to release a preliminary report within the next two weeks, while the final report will take approximately 18 months or longer to complete.
The San Diego Union-Tribune contributed to this report.