Friends leave Facebook messages for wife of Fallon pilot, daughters
Sun News Service
FALLON ” Naval Air Station Fallon Executive Officer Cmdr. Luther Hook, 44, and three of his daughters are the confirmed victims of a plane crash that took place Friday evening near the Fallon Municipal Airport.
Hook perished in the twin-engine Cessna crash along with daughters Kaitlyn Elizabeth, 15, Rachel Katherine, 12, and Mackenzie Elena, 9. The identifications came through preliminary information provided by family, friends and airport representatives.
The four were in route to Fallon from Fresno, Calif. Kelly Spicer, a representative from the airport, said Hook flew to Fresno every Friday afternoon to pick up his daughters from a previous marriage for weekend visitation. He returned his daughters to Fresno each Sunday afternoon in the two and half hour round trip.
Hook is survived by his wife Wende Hucke Hook, a native of Fallon, a daughter and a step-daughter.
Friends have left numerous condolences on Wende’s Facebook page. She posted a message Saturday morning around 7 a.m. and in the subsequent comments she stated her husband and three step-daughters went down in a plane crash Friday night.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been on scene since early this morning.
Churchill County Sheriff Rich Ingram said the bodies have been recovered and his office has turned the scene over to representatives from the two federal agencies. The sheriff’s office is being assisted by NAS Fallon security personnel at the crash site.
Ingram said he knew Hook personally and spoke to him on numerous occasions. Both men recently participated in a reading project at Numa Elementary School and in a “Dancing With the Stars” fundraiser for the local high school’s swing dance club.
Hook also started a business called Golden Wings Travel, a home-based travel agency. On his company’s Web site, Hook said he started the business to supplement his earnings and provide an income opportunity after he retired from the Navy.
Spicer said the twin-engine Cessna 320 owned by Hook was well maintained and had actually been sold to Hook by a former commanding officer at NAS Fallon.
“There was a lot of history in that airplane,” Spicer said.
The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the small plane crash at 7:36 p.m. The plane went down approximately three-quarters of a mile to one mile east of the airport’s runway. The municipal airport is located on the north side of Rattlesnake Hill.
Witnesses on the ground said the plane appeared to be in distress and maneuvering erratically. Shortly afterward the plane impacted the ground and smoke and flames were seen at the site of the crash.
Hook was born in Havana, Fla., and was a 1986 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He received his Wings of Gold after completing flight training in Beeville, Texas in 1988.
As a pilot flying the F/A-18 Hornet, Hook flew from the decks of the USS Constellation, the USS Independence, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Kitty Hawk. He served in number of strike fighter squadrons, including VFA-113, VFA-125, VFA-151, VFA-22, and as a Landing Signals Officer with Carrier Air Wing Eleven.
Since 2005 he was stationed at NAS Fallon, serving first as the Operations Officer and then as the Executive Officer.
During his naval aviation career, he amassed over 2,700 flight hours in the F/A-18. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal with Combat V, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals, as well as various other campaign and expeditionary medals.
Navy personnel are assisting the family in their time of loss. Memorial services will be announced when arrangements have been finalized.
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