Posted: Aug 8, 2012 3:47 PM by County 10 News Desk
Updated: Aug 8, 2012 3:54 PM
The National Transporation Safety Board this week published a report on the Oct. 25, 2010 plane crash in the Wind River Mountains that killed a Minnesota business executive and his three sons. Luke Bucklin, 41, his twin 14-year-old sons Nate and Nick, and Noah, 12, all died instantly in the crash. The Fremont County Search and Rescue Team, with assists from the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol and F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, among others, searched the rugged Wind River Range near Gannett Peak for a week before a ground team of mountaineers finally spotted the crash in a boulder field.
Bucklin took off in bad weather from Jackson heading towards Minneapolis but had been in the air only a short time when he advised air traffic controllers that he was unable to climb to his assigned altitude. "Descending Rapidly" was one of the last transmissions from the 1977 Moony aircraft. Bucklin also advised controllers of "severe mountain waves," turbulence typically found over mountainous areas. Controllers soon after lost radio and radar contact with the aircraft.
According to the report, several weeks before the crash a flight instructor had warned Bucklin about the risks of flying over mountainous terrain. However Bucklin reportedly said he had flown into Jackson Hole before and that "he knew the risks."