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Crash Involving Father and Three Sons Heading to Mediation

Wednesday, May, 22, 2013


The dispute surrounding a 2010 airplane crash, which left a Minneapolis father and three of his sons dead in Western Wyoming, is now heading to mediation in hopes that it can be finally resolved.  Two federal lawsuits have resulted from the incident, in which the father, Luke Bucklin, was the pilot of the downed airplane that crashed near the Wind River Range.  His sons on board included Nate and Nick, 14-year-old twins, and Noah, 12 years old. 

One lawsuit was filed by Bucklin’s estate against Serco, Inc., the company that provided air traffic control services at Jackson Hole, near where the incident occurred.  The other lawsuit was filed by Bucklin’s ex-wife, who is the mother of the three boys on board. Both lawsuits allege negligence on the part of the air traffic controller, thereby causing the crash.    

Last week, the attorneys representing Bucklin’s estate and Serco informed U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson that the case will be submitted to the mediation process in Minneapolis. Serco, as well as the representatives of Bucklin’s estate, have agreed to enter into mediation to attempt to resolve the dispute. 

President and co-founder of a Web development company, Sierra Bravo Corp., Bucklin was flying the single-engine, 1977 Mooney propeller plane through a snowstorm.  When the plane attempted to pass over the Wind River Range—a range that boasts Wyoming’s highest elevation of 13,800 feet—the pilot was unable to gain altitude.  Recordings of the communication between Bucklin and dispatch include the pilot’s report of severe mountain waves and the threat of an imminent crash.