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Pilot Killed in La Jolla Airplane Crash ID'd as Esteemed Physicist

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Pilot Killed in La Jolla Airplane Crash ID'd as Esteemed Physicist

Charred remains of a Cessna lie near the landing approach at French Valley Airport, in Murrieta, Calif., on July 8, 2023. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via AP)

City News Service

City News Service

11/21/2023

Updated: 11/21/2023

SAN DIEGO—Authorities Nov. 20 released the name of a Carlsbad physicist and experienced pilot who was killed last week when the light airplane he was flying crashed on a La Jolla hillside during a rainstorm.
Michael Salour, 74, was piloting a Cessna P210 Centurion from the San Francisco Bay Area to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad on Nov. 15 evening when he was diverted to Montgomery Field due to inclement weather, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
After making an aborted attempt to land at the Kearny Mesa airport, Mr. Salour continued flying to the northwest along the coast amid fog and rain, officials said. At about 9:30 p.m., he radioed that the plane was running out of fuel, after which flight controllers lost contact with him.
Shortly before 2:30 a.m. Nov. 16, police found the wreckage of the plane on an open slope south of Gilman and La Jolla Village drives with Mr. Salour’s body still in the pilot’s seat.
The founder of several Carlsbad-based companies—including Linkatel, Tactical Air Navigation, and Integrated Photonic Technologies—Mr. Salour had over 30 years of experience in developing and commercializing cutting-edge technologies in the communications and integrated-photonics industries, according to his professional website. He held 19 patents in electro-optic and integrated optical technologies.
Prior to creating those companies, he held a variety of research and faculty positions at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Imperial College of Science and Technology.
As a pilot, Mr. Salour had logged more than 17,700 hours of flight time, had an airline-transport license, with certifications in various corporate/business jets, and large transport aircraft, including DC-3, DC-9, DC-10, B-727, B-737, and B-747 airliners. He also held flight engineer, flight instructor, and instrument flight instructor certifications, according to his web page.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the fatal accident.
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