Monday, May 09, 2022

Comp Air 8 SS52, N801DT: Fatal accident occurred May 08, 2022 in Grasmere, Owyhee County, Idaho

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho  

Bronco Aviation LLC

Location: Grasmere, Idaho
Accident Number: WPR22FA173
Date and Time: May 8, 2022, 14:19 Local 
Registration: N801DT
SS52 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 8, 2022, about 1419 mountain daylight time, an amateur-built experimental Comp Air 8 SS52 airplane, N801DT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Grasmere, Idaho. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an Alert Notification for the missing airplane after the pilot made a distress call. A search ensued and the airplane wreckage was located by a search and rescue helicopter about 7 miles southwest of Grasmere Airport (U91), Grasmere, Idaho.

Preliminary radar data showed that the airplane departed Boulder City Municipal Airport (BVU), Boulder City, Nevada, at 1122. The data showed the airplane on a north-northeast track consistent with the pilot’s planned destination at cruise altitudes, between about 11,000 ft and 13,000 ft msl. About 1339, the airplane began a descent and then about 1357, turned towards the east. About 1410, the last radar return indicated that the airplane’s altitude was about 6,200 ft msl, and at a ground speed of 121 knots. Subsequently, the airplane impacted hilly terrain at an elevation of about 5,780 ft msl.

Examination of the accident site revealed a debris field about 150 ft long. The first identified contact was an area of disturbed dirt, that led to the area where the fuselage came to rest. Both wings and horizontal stabilizers separated during the accident sequence. The only portions of the airplane that were relatively intact were the vertical stabilizer and rudder. All flight control surfaces were found at the accident site.

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

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BLUE SIDE UP INC
Registration: N801DT
Model/Series: COMP AIR 8 SS52 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTWF,4166 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 52 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 11000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.65 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Boulder City, NV (BVU) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.188,-115.58407 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 08-MAY-22
Time: 20:10:00Z
Regis#: N801DT
Aircraft Make: COMP AIR
Aircraft Model: 8 SS52
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew 1 fatal
Pax 1 fatal
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No
State: IDAHO

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290. 


  1. Flight track:

    Last receiver-captured data point, near Grasmere:
    Sun 04:09:51 PM 42.2956 -116.0006 →92° 121 139 6,200 -393

    Elevation is 5,800' MSL at last captured data point using this link:

    1. We came across the crash site May 8 very close to 2:00pm. It was just 150 yards off of highway 51. The CompAir was upside down and in bad shape, the entire cockpit forward was missing. We were going to go have a look but decided to continue on our trip to Boise the see our mothers on Mother's Day. I'm glad we didn't go look, it would not have been good, I think we would have been the first people on scene. The crash site is just 8 mile's from the airstrip at Grasmere. When I passed back by the site on Monday there were feds everywhere and a plane flying around. I went back to Boise on Thursday and EVERYTHING was gone. I walked to the crash site and I smelled the fuel before finding the impact marks in the dirt. The plane had been cleaned up leaving only small pieces here and there. Very sad event!

    2. Wait, so you saw a crash site with no one there, including emergency vehicles and left to go on about your business?

    3. Whispering down the lane...

    4. First of all folks, we had no way of knowing there was anybody in the plane, let alone how fresh it really was. There were no access points to get to the crash and the weather was super shitty and muddy. We live out here and the elements are brutal. It had rained and snowed for a few days up to that point so considering how we were packed and ready to go for mother's Day events AND very late, we opted to keep going on our way. Hindsight's 20/20 and believe me, my husband kicked himself for not going and doing something, but the last thing we needed was to see the Carnage that was obviously in there. I do love though how critical some folks can be when they have no idea what was going on at the time for us, not knowing how long that plane had been there or if it had already been taken care of in regards to attempted rescue. No need to be rude, presumptuous, or disrespectful to us or the folks who were lost. Whether we called it in right then and there or it was the next day, it wouldn't have saved the poor souls inside.

    5. But you have no idea. Your actions could have possibly have saved my wife’s cousin and his wife or at the least got people there sooner.

      I understand your hesitation for not going to find the rest of the plane but a phone call at least would have been nice so they weren’t out there alone until they were found Monday.

    6. "...but the last thing we needed was to see the Carnage that was obviously in there." True, the important thing is that the Mother's Day visit was not impacted by the effort put forth to hop a fence and slog thru the mud in an attempt to render aid to a fellow human.

    7. Thinking that a wreck hadn't just happened is an unfortunate but unsurprising perception when you don't see a crash happen or smoke rising. Unless no other vehicles passed by on highway 51 all afternoon, that perception must have been the same for anyone else who noticed the wreckage if no phone call reports were made that day.

      Offering criticism of not trekking in for a look isn't valid unless the commenter saw first hand what the weather, terrain, surface circumstances and wreck visualization was at the time.

    8. The plane went down at 2:09. How it did not look like it just happened is beyond me. I was not there, but you were obviously the first on scene. Life might have been saved with a little more effort.

    9. So sad that you could be so self absorbed to pass a crash site without ascertaining if the victims may have still been alive. Many people, like you and your husband, are cowards. Sleep well, zombie type person.

    10. "There were no access points to get to the crash," but "I went back to Boise on Thursday and... I walked to the crash site."

    11. Also, "I'm glad we didn't go look, it would not have been good, I think we would have been the first people on scene." Are you glad you didn't go look and be first on the scene or are you "kicking yourself for not going and doing something?" I guess I'm being a bit harsh because I knew the couple and considered them friends, but saying things like "I do love though how critical some folks can be" just shows zero remorse.


    13. To anyone reading this, if you find yourself in a similar situation where you have stumbled upon an accident, whether it be aviation related or not, please act. I'm sure in the moment thoughts are racing and one of the last things you may want to do is be involved in something you previously had nothing to do with, but your selflessness may save someone. Please call 911, scan the scene for injured, and provide aid if able. If you found yourself in an accident which disabled you, you too would be relying on the good will of others. Rest in peace to both

    14. Having empathy for the deceased couple and everybody who knew them and their family, it sounds from the facts that the plane was upside down and the forward cockpit was upside down, it sounds like there is a high degree of probability that the poor acouple died instantly. So, please have some empathy also for the passers-by. There's likely not much that they could have done.

    15. Make all the excuses you want for them not stopping and "trekking" to the accident site, even though most of the reasons they listed were pretty weak. But there's absolutely no excuse for not making the minimal effort to call 911 to report the downed plane, if only to confirm it had already had been reported. Could have done that as they sped by without delaying their trip. Even though it appears they may have been killed instantly, as a previous commenter noted "but you have no idea". At the very least the scene could have been accessed a day earlier.

    16. They died instantly on impact- there was nothing that could have been done, and I’m glad you didn’t stop to take it in. NTSB will eventually make a ruling on the cause, but we know there were issues with the fuel lines. Monte was an incredible pilot, but that day happened and now my sis and him are gone forever. They lived their lives to the fullest and loved their time in the air. No need to berate the person just driving by- there was nothing to be done

    17. People came across the crash site and did nothing!? They had no way to know if anyone was thrown clear of the crash and was still alive.

      Remember Kitty Genovese in NYC. No one called either.

      I see they are very articulate also in their use of language.

    18. That was pretty poor to not at least call in 911, Monte was a good guy and we were starting to be really good friends, how the hell this happened is what I am waiting to here

  2. Why is there no info on this?

    1. I knew the couple, they were enroute to Boise from Reno. He was fairly low time in the aircraft. Awaiting investigation.

    2. The whole area is a range complex; general aviation aircraft transit it every day. The restricted airspace is for a bombing range.

      The sad thing is they flew over 3-4 ranch strips that aren't on the charts. From someone who was on frequency while this was going down, they reported a massive fuel leak and engine failure.

  3. Actually they were enroute from Boulder City, NV

    1. And not headed to Boise, ID but to Ontario, Oregon.

  4. "They molded a fiberglass header tank behind the firewall for separating air from the fuel into the engine. It split apart one day while taxiing. My feet were standing in Jet-A."

    1. Note: The quoted text is about a Comp Air 7 tail dragger.

    2. The Comp Air 7's tested in Iraq were tricycle gear and were models from a few years prior fabrication of the Comp Air 8 accident aircraft. Having sheet metal screws run directly into fiberglass instead of being equipped with threaded boss or nut plate fixings is not a witness to good design. Unfilled holes in the firewall and no grommet or firestop usage was noted also.

      Interesting reading in a file linked in the POA forum post:


  6. In ATC recording from above, the pilot states destination is KONO (Ontario, Oregon), not Boise, ID.

  7. M&M were flying to help my team and I install windsocks at LRAA in Mazama wa. We only found out today about this tragedy. All week we've been trying to reach them. Deeply saddened.

    1. Were they delivering the windsocks to you?

    2. Thank you so much for the update, Annette. They will be deeply missed at work.

  8. If the cockpit was separated from the rest of the aircraft by some distance, there was no chance anyone would survive.

    1. Preliminary report is out, describes the wreckage this way:

      "Both wings and horizontal stabilizers separated during the accident sequence. The only portions of the airplane that were relatively intact were the vertical stabilizer and rudder. All flight control surfaces were found at the accident site."

  9. The aircraft experienced a fuel leak which led to engine failure. Hope this helps who needs answers. RIP.

  10. Was the fuel leak/engine failure reported by the mishap pilot over ATC frequencies?