UPDATE: Mt. Diablo Plane Crash Victim Identified As 49-Year-Old Man

February 11, 2019 10:00 am · 20 comments

The pilot who died in Friday night’s single-engine plane crash on Mt. Diablo has been identified on a Facebook tribute page and via other sources as 49-year-old Chris de Bar of Granite Bay, near Roseville.

The Facebook page for Julian Rock Memorial, which claims its mission is to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, features a post made early Sunday morning mourning the death of de Bar, and called him a supporter of their cause and “a huge personality.”

The single-engine Mooney M20 aircraft crashed sometime Friday night into a hillside two miles southwest of the peak of Mount Diablo near Summit Road.

The plane was flying from Hayward Executive Airport to Lincoln, in Placer County. On Saturday, a family member reported the aircraft as overdue after it had not landed as scheduled in Lincoln.

The wreckage was spotted about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the subsequent investigation as to why the plane crashed.

RELATED STORY: One Dead After Overnight Plane Crash On Mt. Diablo (AUDIO)

KenInConcord February 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM

Looks like the plane hit right around the 2,700 foot level. It will be interesting to find out why he was flying at that level! Also the lack of info is unusual, with all the radar and information, why don’t we know more details of the flight track, not even sure when this crashed happend.

Very sad for all involved and those who knew this man.


RunnerDope February 11, 2019 at 10:55 AM

>> The single-engine Mooney M20 aircraft crashed sometime Friday night …

Ricardoh February 11, 2019 at 11:04 AM

On the news last night a friend of his said he had been flying for a month. Flying at night. bad weather, no moon, no experience, an accident waiting to happen. Who was this guys flight instructor?

Anon February 11, 2019 at 11:30 AM

Allegedly, the Airport he flew out of advised him Not to fly in the storm.
But, it’s a free country – we can put up suicide nets on bridges, but cannot stop novices from flying in such horrible conditions.

RunnerDope February 11, 2019 at 11:30 AM

Flying for a month, or had his license for a month? I don’t know any flight instructor that would sign off a night x-country after a month, in any kind of weather.

RunnerDope February 11, 2019 at 11:27 AM

Mt. Diablo is only a couple miles off the direct course from Hayward to Lincoln airport. Pilots are required to be aware of such details.

MikeyV February 11, 2019 at 1:36 PM

Good call. It’s smack on course if you take off to the south for a few miles from Hayward, then turn up to Lincoln.

do planes usually take off to the south from Hayward? Could be different during a storm, I guess.

RunnerDope February 11, 2019 at 2:01 PM

Winds are generally from the west through north in good weather around here. When a front comes in, they commonly switch to the south and you will see airliners coming inbound over Concord instead of over the south bay.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he took off to the south Friday night.

Kirkwood February 11, 2019 at 11:46 AM

Information in the media indicates the pilot had been flying for 6 months. I suspect he was flying a course he had flown before but it was dark and there were low clouds. Many airplanes have crashed in Altamont and Crow Canyon while trying to squeeze over high ground under the clouds. The ground can rise up unnoticed beneath you. If the plane had been a few hundred yards west it probably would have cleared the ridge. The Mooney M20 is a relatively fast, efficient airplane for its time

S February 11, 2019 at 12:49 PM

KPIX-5 ran a story that he was still an aviation student. Not sure exactly what they meant by that… He could have licence, but is furthering his certifications?????

the kabitser February 11, 2019 at 12:55 PM

Flying VFR at night with clouds and if 6 months is correct, maybe around 200 hours behind him! You live and die by your chart. It tells you everything you need to know about the terrain below you. The weather will bite you in a New York minute if you are not really careful. I know from personal experience. When you get into thick haze or an unseen cloud at night it can stick you to your seat big time.

Ricardoh February 11, 2019 at 1:19 PM

He could have a student license and still own an airplane and fly it as long as he was passed to fly solo and checked out in that airplane.. However could not take passengers.

Ricardoh February 11, 2019 at 1:23 PM

I take it you are IFR rated. I doubt very much that guy had close to two hundred hours in six months.

SlowDown February 11, 2019 at 1:44 PM

Everyone is always ready to jump to conclusions and pass judgment on this site. We don’t know how or why the plane went down. Most seem to assume he smacked into Diablo due to poor visibility, weather, inexperience, etc. While that MAY very well be the case…none of the keyboard jockeys on this site know anything other than what has been reported by media outlets who also have no concrete information at this stage. As I believe someone else commented on the original story, this very well could have been the result of instrument failure…or maybe the guy had a heart attack or other medical trauma mid-flight. Hold your horses there armchair quarterbacks – I’m sure additional information will be forthcoming.

In the meantime – RIP to this poor guy regardless of how it happened and condolences to his family & friends.

Kirkwood February 11, 2019 at 3:17 PM

What you are seeing here is what in the aviation world would be called “hangar flying”, the equivalent of “fish” or “war” stories. This incident is likely being discussed in every airport lounge, coffee shop and FBO in the state. As you know, opinions are like (********), everybody has one. You would hear probably what you are reading here.

Ricardoh February 11, 2019 at 2:29 PM

As a key board jockey I can safely say he did not have instrument failure. He could have had altimeter failure if he failed to reset his altimeter before taking off but even at that he was way too low to account for that much failure. The guy got in over his head and experience had bad weather and plowed into the mountain at a cruise speed of 150 knots. He also could have seen he was in trouble and stalled it out trying to get altitude as the wreckage was not scattered that much. Wait a year and see what the NTSB has to say.

Bedazzled February 11, 2019 at 10:53 PM

Yada yada yada, coulda been this, coulda been that, wait it might of been this…well maybe this happened, or it was this…

Maybe it was just time to die. His number was up…

Coulda been suicide…

Silva February 11, 2019 at 4:58 PM

It sounds likely at least it was over quickly for them, poor souls. RIP.

KenInConcord February 11, 2019 at 7:01 PM

Does anyone have reliable info about what time he talked to the tower. I’m wondering what time this happened? No indication that impact was after dark, The police dispatch said “over night” on the following day. It could have been during daylight hours the day before with storm conditions.

Previous commenter. Could be correct. I saw the site today and it appears to be very short impact site.

Regardless of fault/cause This is Very sad. He look like a nice guy that was really enjoying life. Everyone spoke very highly of him. He had many dear friends that will miss him very much.

DLP February 13, 2019 at 8:57 PM

In order to be legally flying this aircraft he would have to have been at least a private pilot. The Mooney is a complex airplane and the endorsement can only be added to a certificate so he was either a private pilot with complex endorsement or a student pilot breaking the regulations. FAA database lists him as a student pilot but due to government shutdown this may not have been updated. Either way certainly not instrument rated at this time. The statement about one month as a pilot could be with regards to when he received his certificate. Very easy to the get the complex in a few days if you have a need. I am not here to question judgement or decisions as we don’t know enough but to clarify some of the regulations for non aviators. Very very sad news and my wishes go out to his family and friends……. Fly High Brother

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