SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities say the pilot of a small plane bound for a Sonoma County airport was killed when the aircraft crashed in a protected coastline in Northern California’s Marin County.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Friday ( ) that a Cessna 172 flying within California from Santa Barbara County to Santa Rosa was reported overdue Thursday afternoon.

John Dell’osso, a spokesman for the Point Reyes National Seashore said a search party began scouring the southern area of the seashore after an emergency transmitter went off Thursday giving the aircraft’s location.

The plane was discovered about 1 p.m. Friday amid steep, brush-filled terrain. Dell’osso said one body, believed to be the pilot, was recovered from the wreckage.

Officials suspect the crash happened Thursday afternoon and that fog may have contributed to the crash.