Father packs family into C336 to flee Ivan, disappeared, bodies
found at crash site
On September 25, Kevin Bomback, an aircraft mechanic who worked
for Federal Express, packed his family in a Cessna 336 (file photo)
-- an early fixed-gear version of the well-known Skymaster -- and
took off from Atmore Municipal Airport (AL) in an attempt to flee
Hurricane Ivan. He didn't file a flight plan, and apparently
thought he didn't need a weather briefing. What he had seen of the
approaching storm was enough to make him leave, perhaps in too much
of a hurry.
Neighbors and friends became concerned when there was no word
from the family. The days passed and no one knew what had happened
to the Bombacks. Their car was still at the airport days later, and
the concerns turned to fears that they had not made it to wherever
it is that Kevin wanted to take them.
The fears were confirmed when authorities found the wreck of the
aircraft, as well as the bodies of Kevin, his wife Sheri, daughter
Alicia, 17, and son Brent, 12, in a heavily wooded area near Magee
(MS). The aircraft apparently went in nose first into the woods,
and was discovered during a CAP search by observer Keith
Col. Wilkes of the CAP thinks Bomback was trying to land at
Magee's airport, just a mile north of the crash site. "We've flown
over this area probably four or five times," Wilkes said. "I did a
flyover Saturday and came up with nothing." Part of the problem
finding the aircraft, though, was caused by Bomback himself.
Because he did not file a flight plan, the ATC system did not know
he was missing, and the search was not initiated until after tapes
of radar information had been erased three days after the Bombacks
No ELT signal was detected, which would have also alerted
authorities to the accident. "Normally, we would have gone out
within a couple of hours," he said.
Riddle managed to locate the debris after his pilot flew closer
to the tree tops in the areas. The tops some 300 feet from the
crash site had been sheared, marking the spot at which the aircraft
entered the forest. The only part of the wreckage that could be
clearly distinguished was the tail.
Positive identification of the family's remains are pending an