There's seriously bad weather everywhere from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, and it sounds like that may be why Luke Bucklin and his three sons have gone missing in the skies outside of Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Bucklin is the founder and CEO of Bloomington-based Sierra Bravo, which, along with its Nerdery Interactive Lab outlet, builds digital and social media products to marketing and media companies.
The family was in Wyoming on vacation.
Company CFO Mike Derheim broke the news to employees in person, and then followed up via the company blog:
We will get through this by standing together, and by leaning on each other when we can't. Pray for him, and for his family, and support each other.
The family is providing a lot of transparency on its website about the status of the search. Among the details: The four-seat, single engine, Mooney 201 took off in the snow from Jackson Hole. Luke was at the controls. Sons Nick, 14; Nate, 14; and Noah 12 were on board. The plane was traveling at 14,000 feet and climbing when radar contact was lost. The highest mountains in the area are just under 14,000 feet.
KDLK/KOVE radio in Fremond County, Wyoming, said the search is taking place in the area of Gannett Peak. That's a 13,809 foot mountain that sits on both sides of the Continental Divide in the Wind River Range, west of Jackson Hole. (See the map below. Gannett Peak is marked.)
The area consists of rugged mountainous terrain, with heavy timber, large ravines and steep cliffs. The area itself is approximately 13,000 feet in altitude and glaciers are predominating throughout the year.
Ginger Bucklin, Luke's wife, posted this today under the heading, "Need your prayers."
Yesterday afternoon (10/25), Luke and three kids - Nick, Nate & Noah - took off in Luke's plane, to return home from our Jackson Hole vacation. The FAA lost contact with them over the mountains in Wyoming. Search and rescue teams are heading out today (10/26) from Lander, WY. Meanwhile, family and friends are gathering at our home in Southwest Minneapolis. You are welcome to join us.
Helicopter crews are searching the area, and a ground search crew is standing by. About two feet of snow covers the ground around Jackson Hole right now.