At about 18:58 Pacific time, a Cessna 172N descended into Santa Monica Bay. One passenger was killed. The pilot and another passenger were missing and presumed dead. The pilot told Santa Monica Tower that he intended to fly up and down the shoreline. Radar data showed the airplane cruising about a half-mile offshore at about 1,000 feet. The airplane then turned perpendicular to the shoreline and descended in a right turn until the radar track was lost. Another pilot who was flying in the vicinity reported that a solid overcast marine layer existed at the time. The cloud bases were about 1,100 feet msl, and the top of the cloud layer was about 1,700 feet msl. It was a dark night, and no moon was visible.