San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office
San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. Photo via @SanDiegoCounty Twitter

Authorities Monday 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 Wednesday 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, 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. Thursday, police found the wreckage of the plane on an open slope south of Gilman and La Jolla Village drives with 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 — 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, 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.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. Nov. 20, 2023

City News Service contributed to this article.