GRASS VALLEY, Nevada County (CBS SF/AP) — An Air Force captain was killed in the crash of the small plane he was piloting near an airport in Northern California on Tuesday, authorities said.

Capt. Ronald Hooper, 30, of Rancho Cordova, suffered severe injuries in the crash that occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. near Grass Valley area and died at a hospital, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said.

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Air Force Capt. Ron Hooper / Scene of plane wreckage (David Williams/Ophir Hill Fire Dept.)

No one else was aboard.

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The crash site was about 1 1/2 miles from Nevada County Airport.

Hooper, who served at Travis Air Force base, reported engine problems with the Piper PA-38 Tomahawk before it crashed into some trees, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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