Unlicensed Pilot Killed After Stealing Airplane Had A Criminal Past


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Unlicensed Pilot Killed After Stealing Airplane Had A Criminal Past

By Mike Mitchell

February 9, 2012 - Ray Pirro, 52, of Tracy, California died Sunday at about 4 PM when he crashed the Cessna 172N, N7582D, he had stolen and was piloting, severing power lines and plowing into a canal bank alongside Barstow Avenue, Barstow.

The plane's owner Felix Boston learned the aircraft was stolen when he received a phone call from investigators. The aircraft was stolen from Buchanan Field Airport and the tail number had been altered by Pirro. "I loved that plane," said Boston who purchased the Cessna in 2006.

Boston, who owns a Farmer's Insurance agency in Pleasant Hill, stated when he looked inside the damaged aircraft he saw junk food throughout the plane, ?Cheez Whiz everywhere, junk food and energy drinks.? Boston said the aircraft was totally destroyed and the only thing salvageable is the right side landing gear.

Boston reports that he had used his aircraft on a number of occasions to auction off plane rides to raise money for scholarships and to raise money for the homeless. Boston said he would take charity flights over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Back on Sunday, November 20, 1988, in Tracy, California, Pirro crashed his Cessna 175, N6641E, after the aircraft ran out of fuel. Pirro left the accident site immediately and did not file an accident report.

The airplane was found by the NTSB nosed over and abandoned short of the airport. Pirro owned the aircraft however, he did not hold a pilot's license or a medical certificate. The NTSB determined the probable cause of this accident was fuel exhaustion to the engine and Pirro lacked adequate pilot training. 

Pirro had been on parole since 2008, and was scheduled to be sentenced next month for petty theft in 2011, in San Joaquin County. Pirro has an extensive criminal background. San Joaquin County Court records indicate Pirro plead guilty to a number charges over a 12 year period which involved assault, drugs and theft.

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