Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Cessna 337F Super Skymaster, N337V: Fatal accident occurred July 30, 2020 in Ennis, Madison County, Montana

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Aviation Safety Inspector; Helena, Montana
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ennis, MT
Accident Number: WPR20LA245
Date & Time: 07/30/2020, 0938 MDT
Registration: N337V
Aircraft: Cessna 337
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On July 30, 2020, about 0938 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 337F, N337V, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Ennis, Montana. The pilot was critically injured, one passenger was seriously injured, and one passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The flight departed Helena Regional Airport (HLN), Helena, Montana on a business trip about 0845. Its destination was Jackson Hole Airport (JAC), Jackson Hole, Wyoming, about 185 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of HLN. About 1032, the Madison County Sheriff's Dispatch office received a 911 call from one of the surviving passengers, who stated that they had crashed, and that the accident site was near Ennis Lake.

About 1600 on the afternoon of the accident, the wreckage was located about 5 nm west-southwest of Ennis Lake in the Gallatin National Forest, at an altitude of about 7,597 ft mean sea level; this was about 75 nm south-southeast of HLN, the departure airport. First responders reported that it appeared that the entire airplane was accounted for at the accident site.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N337V
Model/Series:337 F 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: EKS, 5423 ft msl
Observation Time: 0955 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  8 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Departure Point: Ennis, MT (HLN)
Destination: Jackson Hole, WY (JAC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 45.390000, -111.558056 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Brandon K. Hogan 
July 28, 1968 – July 30, 2020

Private family services will be held but you may view the service on the Anderson Stevenson Wilke funeral home Facebook page at 12:00 pm Monday August 10th.

UPDATE: The victim of the fatal plane crash in the Madison Range east of Ennis has been identified as 52-year-old Brandon Hogan of Helena.

MADISON COUNTY -  A plane crashed in the mountain range of Madison County between Big Sky and Ennis Lake with three people onboard.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration preliminary accident report the plane was a Cessna 337f Skymaster twin-engine aircraft that crashed under unknown circumstances.

The plane left Helena on Thursday morning traveling to Jackson, Wyoming.

Search and Rescue teams located the crash site around 4 p.m. in the mountainous terrain in southwest Montana.

One passenger has died and the other two were both life flighted and are being treated. One injured passenger went to East Idaho Regional Medical Center and the other to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

The crash is currently under investigation.

The identities of the deceased and people being treated is currently unknown.

According to registration information the plane is registered to Red Devil Skymaster LLC in Helena and was acquired by the business with registration finalized on July 17, 2020.

After checking with the Montana Secretary of State's Office they said Red Devil Skymaster LLC was formed on April 9, 2020, owned by Brandon Hogan.

Pilot records show Brandon Keith Hogan was issued a student pilot license on April 29, 2020, with restrictions for night flying and by color signal control as well as being prohibited to carry passengers.  

We have not confirmed that Hogan was in control of the plane or even onboard the aircraft, and have attempted to speak with someone at the Helena residence where the plane is registered with no response.


  1. Pilot died, his two young children survived.

    Registry shows him getting a student pilot cert on 4/29/20 and a 3rd class medical in May 2020.

    Looking at social media, he clearly was an aviation buff (he recently went to Mike Patey's hangar and is pictured standing next to Mike and Mike's new STOL aircraft 'Scrappy'). I would be surprised if someone like that violated the rules and was flying with his two kids with only a student pilot cert, but you never know.

    1. Violating the rules and common sense? That's in vogue these days.

    2. In the NTSB preliminary report, the deceased owner/student pilot is described as a passenger. One of the survivors was the pilot.

      Since the owner/student pilot was not the pilot flying, it is not correct to characterize this accident as breaking the rules.

    3. That's correct - I was wrong.

  2. I can't find details on this, but what father takes kids up in a complex aircraft he's not qualified to fly in as a private pilot and licensed by the FAA? Sure the Skymaster has centerline thrust negating the need to really train for traditional wing engine out scenarios, but if this is true what an idiot. I'm an F1 race fan but I'd never jump in one without proper training and qualification tests to drive one. The hell was he thinking?

  3. If this is factual this is about the 3rd or 4th accident this year with unqualified pilots...
    Something has to be done as insurance will start to get prohibitive.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, I am corrected there was only 1 son on board. I misread a post.

    2. Where is the story that children were aboard coming from?

    3. Social media post by the family.

  5. News story update says the crash victim has been officially identified. Matches name that had earlier been reported as the LLC owner. Another LLC and trademark using the same residential address is associated with film production. The website lists his film production background on the about us page.

  6. Preliminary report is out. The deceased owner/student pilot is described as a passenger:

    "The pilot was critically injured, one passenger was seriously injured, and one passenger was fatally injured."

  7. Facebook memorial page for Mr. Hogan has info on injured son. No word on condition of the third person who NTSB stated was piloting the plane:

  8. Facebook memorial page includes a video post of the surgeon giving the son Mr. Hogan's wristwatch after it was retrieved from the local landfill.

    Son had found his fathers watch after the plane crashed but son's clothes were discarded when he was in the ER. Surgeon took the initiative to find the watch. Remarkable story.

  9. "If this is factual this is about the 3rd or 4th accident this year with unqualified pilots...
    Something has to be done as insurance will start to get prohibitive."

    Should have no effect on insurance since if you don't have a legal certificate, the insurance doesn't have to pay any claim. Basically, there was no insurance if the pilot was in fact breaking the rules.

    1. NTSB preliminary report says that the deceased owner/student pilot was a passenger. He was not flying the plane.

      This is not another uncertified pilot incident.

  10. I spoke to the son of the deceased passenger/owner of the airplane. He said the guy flying the plane was his dad's CFI. He had recently become a private pilot and his dad bought this plane and was going for his license as well. The CFI was at the controls and they were he did a banked turn to avoid a mountain and they became very slow and the stall horn went off. The dad mentioned he thought he was going to slow. Then the stall horn went off again. One wing dipped, then the other, and they went down. His dad was immediately killed, the CFI sustained a laceration to his arm and he applied a makeshift tourniquet. He was also seriously injured and had spinal cord surgery. He called 911 and they were located/transported. Very sad that this could have been prevented.