Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

Piper PA-22


On July 6, 2015, while searching for the crash site of USAAF B-24D #41-24071 near Craters of the Moon National Monument, Project Remembrance member Marc McDonald encountered the wreckage of a Piper PA-22-135.  Tri-Pacer N8195C crashed four days earlier on July 2, 2015, resulting in the fatality of pilot Neil MacNichol.  The flight originated at Canyonlands Field Airport near Moab, UT, and the destination was Stanley, ID, where Neil was to attend a family gathering.  After taking on fuel at Malad, ID, he reported concerns about turbulence near the Arco Desert at about 12:17 pm.  At 12:32 pm, the aircraft disappeared from radar in the vicinity of Laidlaw Butte, and was reported missing shortly thereafter.  On July 3, a Civil Air Patrol flight from Idaho Falls, ID, discovered the wreckage. 

Neil MacNichol was born in Portland, OR, and called McCall, ID, his home.  He loved to fly, and earned his pilot's license at age 17.  At the time of the accident, at age 21, he had multi-engine, instrument, and commercial certifications, and was close to achieving certification as a flight instructor.  He attended Oregon State University, Utah Valley University, and was employed with RedTail Aviation in Moab, UT, conducting aerial tours of Canyonlands National Park.  Neil's mother, who is an accomplished backcountry pilot in central Idaho, placed a monument marker at the crash site in July 2016.

We wish you blue skies and tailwinds, Neil.

The Project Remembrance Team



Pilot Neil MacNichol at Canyonlands National Park (Photo courtesy of Lori MacNichol)

Neil's mother Lori MacNichol and sister Madison MacNichol at the crash site monument, July 2016  (Photo courtesy of Lori MacNichol)


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