Friday, November 13, 2020

Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk, N6380A: Fatal accident occurred November 10, 2020 near Nevada County Airport (KGOO), Grass Valley, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Piper Aircraft; Phoenix, Arizona

Location: Grass Valley, CA
Accident Number: WPR21FA044
Date & Time: November 10, 2020, 15:40 Local
Registration: N6380A
Aircraft: Piper PA38 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 10, 2020, about 1540 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-38-112 airplane, N6380A, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Grass Valley, California. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The owner of the accident airplane stated that the airplane was stored in a hangar at his home airport, the pilot’s departure airport, Cameron Park, California. Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADSB) data obtained through a commercially available third-party contained three different tracks that began the day of the accident about 1028 from the pilot’s departure airport. The first track showed the pilot depart to the northwest from his departure airport and turn to a southwesterly heading. He reached his next destination, University Airport (EDU), Davis, California, about 1100. The second ADS-B track appeared 23 minutes later during the pilot’s departure from EDU. The data showed that he flew to an area east of the airport where he performed numerous turns, climbs, and descents and subsequently performed two touch and go maneuvers at a nearby airport before he returned to EDU approximately 1200. The second ADS-B track terminated about 1210. According to the final track, the pilot departed EDU about 1419 and flew a northerly heading for about 35 nm, turned northeast and flew an additional 31 nm to an intermediate airport in Oroville, California. The pilot performed a touch and go maneuver and then departed to the southeast. He established a cruise altitude of 5,500 ft mean sea level about 1523 and maintained a southeasterly heading. At 1533:49 he passed an airport in Grass Valley, California about 2 minutes before he made a slight right turn to a southern heading. The pilot reported a loss of engine power to air traffic control about this time. At 1536:25 the pilot executed a 180° right turn to the north as the airplane began to descend. He made a 180° left turn about 2 minutes later, at which point the ADS-B data ceased at 1539:22, approximately 0.3 nm west of the accident site.

A witness located about 0.1 nm southeast of the final ADS-B data point and 0.3 nm southwest of the accident site, reported that he observed the accident airplane fly over him in a steep, controlled, left turn (see Figure 1). The airplane rolled into a level attitude on a northeastern heading as it flew past the witness in a steady descent and disappeared behind trees. The witness heard the airplane impact the ground about 4 seconds later. He did not hear an engine harmonic while the airplane was in view or after.

The airplane was located in wooded terrain at an elevation of about 2,710 ft mean sea level. All major sections of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The initial impact point (IIP) was marked by a severed tree that displayed an impact mark about 15 ft up from its base. The accident airplane was inverted and intact, oriented on a heading of 048° magnetic. The orientation between the IIP and main wreckage was 094° magnetic.

Both propeller blades remained attached to the engine crankshaft and were each bent aft slightly, However, neither blade exhibited any nicks, gouges, or chordwise striations.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6380A
Model/Series: PA38 112 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGOO,3153 ft msl
Observation Time: 15:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C /-5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 230°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Cameron Park, CA (O61)
Destination: Grass Valley, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.190833,-120.99861
Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

CAMERON PARK (CBS13) — A third-generation Air Force captain died in a plane crash in Nevada County Tuesday.

Family members say the young pilot had a bright future. 

Ron Hooper was just 30-years-old.“I know he’s going to be missed,” Hooper’s brother-in-law David Williams said.

The Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk aircraft Hooper was flying went down about a mile and a half outside the Nevada County Airport in Grass Valley Tuesday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Hooper reported engine problems before crashing into trees. He later died at the Sutter hospital in Roseville.Williams dropped Hooper off at the airport right before he took off.

“When I dropped him off at the airport I said, ‘Hey man see you later, have a safe flight,'” Williams said.

Hooper was getting in practice hours, training to become a commercial pilot. Ron, his sister Victoria and David all served at Travis Air Force Base together. He started flying helicopters for the Navy and transitioned to the Air Force Reserve.

“That was his passion, he loved everything to do with flying,” said Williams.

Aviation was in his blood, his father, and grandfather served in the Air Force as well. Williams says his family and his community will miss Ron’s calm energy and positive nature. They say he was a true leader on the ground and in the air.

“To see someone like that taken so drastically is terrible, but if people can emulate that nature, we’d all be better off,” said Williams.

Both the FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.

Travis Air Force Base released the following statement about Hooper Wednesday:

“The 349th Air Mobility Wing is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Capt. Ronald W. Hooper. Capt. Hooper was a highly respected and valued Air Force officer, wingman and friend. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends and all members of our wing.”

NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — A pilot from Rancho Cordova died after a plane crash in Nevada County Tuesday afternoon.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has identified the pilot as 30-year-old Ronald Hooper.

The crash happened around 3:40 p.m. in the area of Meadow Drive and Highway 174, about a mile and a half outside of the Nevada County Airport in Grass Valley. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot reported engine problems before crashing into trees and landing upside down in an underdeveloped lot.

Witnesses told the sheriff’s office the plane lost power before crashing. First responders found Hooper trapped inside the cockpit. He was extricated and flown via air ambulance to Sutter Roseville, where officials say he died from his injuries.

Hooper was flying a Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk, the FAA said. He was the only person on-board.

Multiple agencies including the Peardale Chicago Park Fire Department and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Hooper was part of the Air Force Reserve at Travis Air Force Base’s 349th Air Mobility Wing, officials confirmed to CBS13.

“Capt. Hooper was a highly respected and valued Air Force officer, wingman and friend. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends and all members of our wing,” wrote the 349th in a statement.

1 comment:

  1. Rest In Peace Captain .. thank you for your Service and prayers to your loved ones


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