Neal Humphrey, the A&P who helped Greg Piehl restore the Comanche that has been featured in a seven-part series in PIPERS magazine, and his son died in a plane crash on June 27 in rural Idaho. Neal was 48 and son Cooper was 15. There are no further details available at this time.
Piehl’s 1959 Comanche will be on the cover of the August 2022 issue, capping a seven-part series in which Piehl and a team of friends and contractors restored it to award-winning condition. The series started in the February issue. The photo at the top of this article shows Humphrey standing in front of the plane during its restoration.
Here are three stories about the tragedy.
Piehl, who will be attending the Piper Owner Society member dinner in Oshkosh on July 25, wrote a tribute to his friend that will be running in the magazine and is copied below.
In Memoriam: A&P Neal Humphrey
By Greg Piehl
As I edit this last article, I was informed that my very good friend and trusted A&P/IA Neal Humphrey and his 15-year-old son Cooper were fatally injured on June 26 while flying back-country mountains and airstrips of Idaho. Neal was flying his modified Piper Pacer. When Neal didn’t arrive at their next destination, the accompanying plane went back to the starting airport, but they weren’t there. SAR was called, and the plane and pilots were found downed in back country. No other details have yet been released.
Neal was the most instrumental and influential person for me in the restoration of this Comanche.
Neal and Cooper are survived by his loving wife Mary and their son Lincoln. May Neal and Cooper rest in peace. They will forever be greatly missed.