Ex-UCSF Chancellor Dies in Plane Crash
The crash of an experimental plane Friday claimed the lives of two well-known surgeons, including Dr. Francis A. Sooy, retired chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco.
The Solano County coroner’s office identified the pilot as Donald Walker of Orinda, owner of the small biplane involved in the crash just after its takeoff from Rio Vista Municipal Airport.
The name of the other victim was not released, but UCSF spokeswoman Carol Fox confirmed Saturday that Sooy, 71, a leading ear surgeon and UCSF chancellor for 10 years until his retirement in 1982, did die in the accident.
Detective Lee Patterson of the Rio Vista Police Department said the “experimental plane” crashed at about 5 p.m.. The craft was not documented by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“My understanding is that it was some type of stunt plane,” he said.
Witnesses reported that the plane took off in a westerly direction, lost power at about 150 feet, banked to the left and crashed into a field, he said.
Rio Vista is 50 miles east of San Francisco and 30 miles southwest of Sacramento.
Sooy retired from UCSF on his 67th birthday on July 1, 1982.