Luke Bucklin

The bodies of Luke Bucklin, age 41, President of Sierra Bravo, and his three children, reported missing in an airplane somewhere over Wyoming Monday 25 Oct 2010, were found 2 Nov 2010 in the wreckage of their plane.


Written 2010 by Will Johnson
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Luke Bucklin and his three sons

The bodies of Luke Bucklin, age 41, Minneapolis-area business executive and his three sons have now been found in the wreckage of their airplane.

Luke, 14-year-old twins Nate and Nick and 12-year-old Noah, traveling in a four-seat, single-engine Mooney 201 plane, took off from Jackson Hole airport Monday, 25 Oct 2010 at 1:05 PM, during a snowstorm.

One hour later, at just more than 13,800 feet, and about seven or eight miles south of Gannett Peak, in the Wind River Range near Lander,  the plane went off radar.

His wife Ginger and youngest son returned on a commercial flight.  Two other children, both girls, were also not on the plane.  Luke had recently been working on obtaining a certified Commercial Pilot designation, per his Tweet here.

They were returning to Minneapolis, from a wedding and family vacation.  Search efforts had been hampered by bad weather, but crews were beginning to search by the 27th.  The leader of the search team has been contacting Ginger directly from his satellite radio with regular updates.

A website called has been setup where it names the other three children: Sarah, Samantha and Oliver.  They were members of a small Edina congregation called City Church, Pastor John Somerville.  Luke and Ginger maintain a blog on which Ginger is posting updates at this link.  Ginger is Luke's current wife, the mother of the three boys is named Michelle, per this blog entry

Luke's write up when he was an honoree
of the 40 Under Forty award by the
Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal
Click to Enlarge

In addition to being the current President of Nerdery Interactive Labs and Sierra Bravo, a Bloomington-based  corporation, Luke Bucklin was previously highly identified with Infinetivity (from 1999 to 2001), a company which allowed Pick operating systems to display information, over web browsers.  Nerdery Interactive also maintains a blog here, where they are posting updates as well. Bucklin had launched Sierra Bravo in 2003 with co-founders Mike Derheim and Mike Schmidt, "with the aim of providing the technical heavy lifting for advertising and creative firms looking to design websites for clients." (Source: "Minneapolis-St Paul Business Journal")

"Bloomington-based Sierra Bravo, which lately did business as The Nerdery, provides digital and social media services to marketing firms. It had $8.6 million in revenue in 2009 and is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Twin Cities, with 128 employees. The company recently established its first out-of-state office, in Chicago." (Source: "Minneapolis-St Paul Business Journal")  In 2009, Luke was named to Biz Journal's 40 Under 40 list as reported on Sierra Bravo's website at this link.

The report that he was missing with his sons, in the middle of a ferocious wind and snow storm, was reported on YouTube by GabeRedRibbon at this link.

“At this point and time we don’t have any new developments,” Sgt. Ryan Lee, of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, said Wednesday afternoon. “We have ground crews in the area and we’re doing air reconnaissance.”   The search team consists of two helicopters and two ground crews. As of late Wednesday afternoon, a helicopter was inserting the second search crew consisting of four mountaineers, including members of the National Outdoor Leadership School, into a 9-square mile search area in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area that Lee described as “rugged terrain with heavy timber and steep cliffs” between 11,000 and 12,000 feet in elevation. The helicopter was scheduled to then remove the first ground crew from the mountains.  (Source: "No luck in search for plane", 28 Oct 2010, Jackson Hole Daily)

Friday morning, Oct 29th, in a press release posted on the Bucklin's family website at this link, it was confimed that a weak signal was picked up, but the exact location could not be determined.  Searching is continuing with aircraft and helicopters as well as ground crews but the nearest road is twenty miles away, so crews are being dropped in by helicopter.  Update Saturday morning 9AM at this link.  Update Saturday afternoon 430 PM.  Update Sunday at 9AM CDT.  A bundle of thank you notes were sent to the searchers from the family and friends in Minnesota, the family's blog reported Sunday.

Update, Monday, 1 Nov 2010 at 11AM CDT.  And Ginger speaks about how she gets her updatesUpdate, Monday, 1 Nov 2010 at 5PM CDT  Update 2 Nov 2010 Bodies found, update Tuesday 2 Nov 2010

Ginger plans a memorial service details to be announced later.  "Grieving wife, stepmother thanks rescuers, network of support", 5 Nov 2010 : "...a public funeral service is set for November 13th."  Video press conference with Ginger Bucklin and Scott Mogen.

Minn. man, 3 sons memorialized after plane crash, 12 Nov 2010 (AP) Edina, Minnesota - "Family, friends and co-workers ... will gather for a memorial service....for Luke Bucklin and his sons Nate, Noah and Nick Bucklin ... 11 a.m. Saturday at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina."

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