Pilot killed in Navy training exercise was from Pleasant View
Saturday , November 01, 2014 - 8:37 AM -
PLEASANT VIEW — The family of Charles Rogers says he died doing what he loved most.
The 45-year-old Pleasant View resident was killed Wednesday in a Navy training exercise off the Southern California coast. The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft Rogers was flying was a Hawker Hunter MK 58 and nobody on the ground was injured during the crash.
News of the crash quickly went viral, with many national media outlets reporting on it.
Rogers’ mother-in-law, Diane Little, told the Standard-Examiner Friday that Rogers was a retired, 21-year veteran of the Air Force who flew F-16s and also trained people how to fly them.
Military plane crash
Firefighters extinguish the remaining flames of a military airplane that crashed in a field near Naval Station Ventura County near Port Hueneme, Calif., killing the pilot Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The plane crashed and disintegrated at around 5:15 p.m. (AP Photo/The Ventura County Star, Karen Quincy Loberg) LOS ANGELES TIMES OUT, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT
Little said Rogers was working with a company called Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., a civilian military contractor that performs mock aerial dogfights during training at Naval Base Ventura County as well as other military facilities.
“It was his dream job,” Little said of Rogers, who was living in California while working for ATAC. “He always said once the rest of his family made the move (to California), life would be perfect.”
Rogers recently retired from the Air Force, last stationed at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. Although he was never stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Little said he had many friends who currently work there.
“He was a fabulous man who traveled all over the world over the last 20 years,” Little said. "He held many responsibilities in a lot of places. He had friends everywhere.“
Little said Rogers is a Texas native, but relocated to Pleasant View after retiring from the Air Force because his wife, Tonya Rogers, grew up in the area.
Rogers leaves behind five children, four sons and a daughter, who Little says ”are just devastated.“
”The family is dealing with it, but it’s obviously very, very difficult,“ Little said. ”He was very much a hands-on father. He loved his family and they did everything together.“
”He will be dearly missed,“ said Tonya Rogers in an email sent to the Standard-Examiner.
Funeral services for Rogers will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the LDS meetinghouse on 2862 N. 400 East, North Ogden.
The FAA, Navy and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of the crash, a process that typically takes months to complete.
According to the Associated Press, another Hawker Hunter crashed into a farm field near the California Navy base in 2012, killing the pilot. In that instance, Thomas Bennett, 57, was piloting the privately owned jet. His plane had been contracted to play the enemy in training exercises.
In May 2011, three members aboard a Boeing 707 tanker loaded with jet fuel escaped with only minor injuries when their aircraft skidded off the runway while taking off from the base and exploded into flames.
That plane was carrying civilians and had a contract to provide fuel transport
Standard-Examiner reporter Ben Lockhart contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.