HALF MOON BAY — The body of a pilot from a plane crash last month that killed two young Bay Area couples has been recovered and formally identified, according to the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office.
The body of Lochie Ferrier, 27, an Oakland resident who hailed from Australia and relocated from New England in the past year, was spotted floating near Ross’ Cove in Moss Beach the morning of Jan. 28, the coroner’s office said.
Coroner officials announced Monday that the remains had been formally identified as Ferrier through DNA comparison. Ferrier was found four days after the body of his fiancée, 26-year-old Cassidy Rae Petit, was found near the same location on Jan. 24.
The couple lived in Oakland after moving from Burlington, Vermont; tragically, their wedding in Hawaii was set for the same day that Ferrier’s body was recovered. The day instead hosted scheduled memorials for the two in the Burlington area.
The morning after the crash, the body of 27-year-old San Francisco resident Emma Willmer-Shiles was recovered in the waters after being spotted by a commercial fishing crew. The remains of the fourth and final plane passenger — Isaac Zimmern, 27, also a San Francisco resident and Willmer-Shiles’ longtime partner — have not been found.
Ferrier’s LinkedIn page states that he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked extensively testing electric planes. He was a test pilot as recently as last fall with Magpie Aviation based in Hayward, which is where the ill-fated flight originally departed before taking off again from Half Moon Bay.
According to an obituary released by Petit’s family, Ferrier met Petit while living in Burlington, where he was working on electric aircraft with Beta Technologies. Along with their dog Kane, the couple moved to the Bay Area in February 2023. Ferrier recently rejoined Beta Technologies, according to his LinkedIn page. The two got engaged Sept. 27 while kayaking in Mexico.
The four-seat Cozy MK IV flown by Ferrier — who owned the homebuilt plane, which had been assembled from pre-built kits — fell into the Pacific Ocean nearly two hours after sunset. Parts of the wreckage from the aircraft later washed ashore and were recovered.
A witness first reported the crash to authorities and described the sight of a small propeller plane flying erratically near Half Moon Bay Airport and Moss Beach Distillery. The caller reportedly heard the engine sputter out before the aircraft fell out of sight.
A cause of the crash was not immediately clear, and the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to issue its preliminary investigative findings by mid-February.