Travis Compton Search by Texas EquuSearch of Dickinson Texas

On Christmas eve, Dec 24, 2009, Travis Compton was pilot of his Piper Aztec twin engine aircraft when his left engine went out at 11,000 feet, which he reported to Miami Center. He requested and descended to 6,000 ft and was successful in restarting the left engine. Several minutes later both engines went out and he broadcasted that he will attempt to land on the Plana Cays, which was in sight. While preparing to land, he then announced that he will not make the islands and will attempt a water landing.

Immediately, the US Coast Guard was alerted by the US FAA and began a series of airborne sorties to look for the downed Piper aircraft and two souls on board. The search was called off after no signs were seen of the Piper aircraft or loved ones.

On January 12, 2010, a private Cessna 337 Skymaster twin flew recon over the surrounding islands.

On January 31, Texas EquuSearch was called by the Compton family to locate their loved one, Travis Compton. Work began immediately to plan a search of the Plana Cays, 18 miles to the east of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, W.I...

On February 11, a search was called off due to unforeseen bad weather and need to coordinate with Nassau officials prior to any ground search.

On February 20, Three (3) members of Texas Equusearch arrived on Acklins Island to begin the search for Travis Compton. Three (3) inspectors from Nassau arrived Acklins Island to guide and assist Texas EquuSearch. Local officials are providing local support and logistics help.

February 21. Search is in-progress. Confirmed location and coordinates for loved one Bancroft Nyack. Plan set for Monday and Tuesday.

February 24. Recon and first island search completed. Three man Search Team returned to Houston.

Next search: Expanded land search of E and W Plana Cays; marine sonar search survey from outfitted dual channel sonar survey vessel. Water depths on charts below are in meters. The water depths one-mile from the beaches drops off from 50 feet to up to 4500 feet. It is hoped that the Aztec twin aircraft is within 10,000 ft offshore to the north of the beach on the north coast of either E. Plana Cay or W. Plana Cay.

Information and links only (to help searchers):

Updated Map with Search Boundaries:


Coordinates PDF File

Photos Texas EquuSearch Search Team











Map and location of Bancroft:

Accommodations on Acklins Island:

Welcome to Chesterís Highway Inn Bone Fish Lodge!




Crooked and Acklins Island guide:

January 12, 2010 Aerial Photography during recon:

                              89 more . . .  see FTP from Baird/Texas EquuSearch Office



Charts, maps and diagrams below are to assist the Texas EquuSearch Team to locate Travis Compton:






PDF files to download:

scan 7 (FOIA Request Feb 1, 2010)

scan 8 (last contact with Piper Aztec Twin N2484R Travis Compton)

scan 9  (Time Altitude Chart with RB notes)

blank missing person form (from Texas EquuSearch)

Piper Aztec procedures from POH

Piper Aztec Information

PowerPoint Time-Altitude Chart (simplified)

Last Miami/Bahamas radar transponder locations:

1550:02 UTC, Lat 22 55 39.41 N Long 073 58 00.02 W altitude 5,900 feet.

1551:50 UTC, Lat 22 53 41.11 N Long 073 55 00.10 W altitude 5,700 feet.

1552:02 UTC, Lat 22 53 33.81 N Long 073 54 37.00 W altitude 5,600 feet.

1552:14 UTC, Lat 22 53 19.44 N Long 073 54 25.13 W altitude 5,600 feet.

1552:38 UTC, Lat 22 53 07.22 N Long 073 53 46.71 W altitude 5,500 feet.

1555:27 UTC, Lat 22 48 17.71 N Long 073 51 21.00 W altitude 5,600 feet. (not reliable)

On the Move