More detail on this person: Carbon Monoxide
poisoning while sleeping in human quarters of a
horse trailer. He was showing cutting horses at
the Houston, TX Livestock Show.
It is my sad duty to report the passing of one of our fellow VHPA members in a bizarre accident.
Rod Hooks had served two tours in Vietnam as an Army Aviator. In recent years he was the pilot for KPRC Television, channel 2 where he was a visible presence, not only to the aviation community, but to the viewing audience as well. As one of his competitors at KTRK Channel 13, I held the greatest respect for Rod for his service to the nation and for his piloting abilities.
Rod died at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo where he was showing some of his beloved cutting horses. For the first time Rod had made the finals of the event and was anxious for the chance to win a top prize. He never got the chance.
As is the custom with many who come to Houston to show their animals, Rod was sleeping in the parking lot in a compartment of the horse trailer designed for humans. It was a cold night and Rod apparently was running a generator for heating. By all accounts, that generator was venting into the sleeping compartment and Rod was overcome with carbon monoxide fumes as he slept. A quiet end for a one time warrior who was proud to have done his duty.
I know you join me in extending sympathies to Rod's family and his extended family at KPRC Television where he was held in high regard as a pilot and a man.
From: Bob Boudreaux (Beaudreault, VHPA Member, class 69-18,155th AHC 1969-70)
Former 128th AHC pilot and Gunslinger, Rod Hooks, was found dead in his horse trailer the morning of 18 Feb 01 at a parking lot at the Houston Rodeo and
Livestock show. He had advanced to the cutting horse finals and was a long time competitor in this event. He apparently died of carbon monoxide
poisoning as reported in the press. Known as "Captain Rod" to Houston TV viewers, he was a long time helicopter pilot for KPRC television in Houston.
Rod was a VHPA member and graduated with class 66-9. He served with the 128th in 1966 and 1967. He served a second tour with ACT/11 ACR in 69 and 70. The obituary from the Houston Chronicle follows:
Tue. Feb. 20, 2001, RODNEY JAMES HOOKS, survived by Wife, Leslie Berryhill Hooks. He leaves Daughter, Christine Leigh Bailey of Blanco, TX; Son, Bradley James Hooks of Friendswood, TX; Stepchildren, Kenneth Shane Berryhill, Jacob Lee Berryhill of Clearlake, TX; Grandchildren, Travis and Evan Bailey of Blanco, TX; his Grandchild expected in July; Brother, Mike Hooks of Maui, Hawaii; Sister, Vonnie Grether of Houston, TX; and his first Wife Donna Leigh Taylor of
Fischer, TX. Mr. Hooks was born in Perth, Australia March 10, 1945. He served for 20 years in the United States Army, retiring in 1984. He graduated from
flight school at Fort Wolters, and served with honor for two tours in Vietnam as a highly decorated combat aviator. He raised registered Texas Longhorns
and performance horses. He was the Chopper2 Pilot for NBC affiliate KPRC Channel 2 in Houston, Texas for over ten years. Visitation will be held at
Forest Park East Funeral Home on Wednesday February 21. 2001 from 5-8 p.m. Chapel services will be held at Forest Park East Funeral Home Thursday,
February 22, 2001 at 3 pm. A private family interment will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Houston Livestock Sho w & Rodeo in memory of Rod Hooks, P. O. Box 20070, Houston, TX 77225, or call (713) 791-9000 and ask for the Education Department.
From: Jay Riseden Gunslinger 35 128th AHC, Phu Loi 67-68
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 03/14/2020
Copyright © 1998 - 2019 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association