LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – A grieving and heartbroken father is still trying to make sense of Friday’s plane crash near Longmont.

Ryan Brungardt’s father,” Terry Brungardt, wants his son to be remembered as a pilot who loved to fly.

Almost inconsolable, Terry Brungardt, could barely find the words to describe his now deceased son. Ryan Brungardt, 30, was one of two victims in the deadly mid-air plane crash.

“Because of the way the accident happened I can’t even say goodbye to him because they don’t know what’s left,” Terry Brungardt said.

Ryan Brungardt was assisting another pilot in what’s called a check out when the fatal crash happened. He died doing what he loved.

“Ryan loved life probably more than anybody I know,” Terry Brungardt said. “There were two things in his life he loved the most and it was flying and his wife.”

ryan brungardt Father Heartbroken After Losing Son In Longmont Plane Crash

Ryan Brungardt (credit: CBS)

Terry Brungardt had just seen his son this past Sunday not knowing it’d be the last chance he’d get to tell him he loved him. Less than 24 hours since the crash he’s still trying to make sense of it all.

“He shouldn’t have (expletive) died. Sorry. It’s not my place to bury his ass, it’s his place to bury me.”

As he continues through the grieving process he had advice for all parents.

“Anybody that sees this you call your kids and tell them that you love them. I don’t care what kind of shape their in because you never know when they’re going to go.”

Ryan Brungardt and his wife had just gotten married about a year ago. Despite being unable to identify much from the remains, his wedding ring was recovered.

Ryan Brungardt did not have life insurance, so the family is working on setting up a memorial fund at a local bank. For now, anyone can donate to the Parker Funeral Home. The money will be to help cover funeral costs.

Comments (19)
  1. Tommie Krone says:

    You are absolutely right Terry — we should not have to bury our children and know that life will never be the same. Ryan was a wonderful young man and one of my son Dennis’ best friends. They were both taken tragically and way too soon. My heart goes out to you, Travis, Christina and all of the family as I have walked in those shoes and nobody knows what that hurt feels like. Hold you family close as you will help each other through this. God Bless you and know he holds Ryan in his wonderful love. Sincerely Tommie Krone

    1. Terry Brungardt says:

      Tommie ..Thank you Dennis was Ryan best friend and while in colorado he lived with Ryan and I. It also was a pleasure to have him in my home and the time to get to know Dennis , my heart went out to you and your family when he past… Thank you

  2. Eric Stites says:

    Terry, I met Ryan several years ago in Mt. Hope, KS. I didn’t have a lot of contact with him, but when I did, he was always very polite and easy to talk to. He always seemed to have a lot of friends around him, and was very attentive to their needs, showing a true interest in what was going on in their lives. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

  3. Phil Powers says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, i cannot imagine your loss. I saw this happen from Sandstone park while playing with my young children, it has impacted me profoundly. I will take your advice every day sir. God bless you, Terry, i am so sorry.

  4. Shirley Crist says:

    My prayers go out to you and your family. It’s never easy loosing your children. I lost my son at the age of 19 unexpectially to a car fire. So I know how you must be feeling now. God bless

  5. American Eagle says:

    Words could never describe my sorrow for you Terry, and the other loved one’s left behind. I cannot imagine your anguish over the loss of your Son. Please know however, that he now has wings that has set him free from the bonds of this earth, and is now every aviators angel.
    God’s speed to you all…..

  6. Samuel says:

    I would like to hope that Mr. Brungardt reads these comments… I was driving down that road and was the first person to arrive after the incident. I truly believe that someone in that plane made a heroic effort to make sure the plane did not also hit me. It all happened a few hundred feet in front of me. I’m positive somebody in that plane made a conscious effort to save other lives.

    My condolences.

    1. Terry Brungardt says:

      Thank you so much for this information.. Ryan always said he would never hurt anyone ….Thank you so much

  7. Danny says:

    I had the honer and privilege to work with Ryan for about a year. He was one of the most passionate and knowledgeable instructors I knew. His students loved him , he brought that love and passion for aviation to work with him every day. I am honored to have worked with him as he always brightened up the day.

  8. John Bailey says:

    So what is “a check out?” Is it typically a dangerous process? Why even mention it in the story if you’re not going to explain?

    1. Danny says:

      A checkout is when an already certified pilot wants to be able to rent an aircraft from a flight club where he or she did not do their training.

      1. Tommie Krone says:

        Thank you for setting him straight. Those gruff comments don’t belong under this type of informative article. Ryan would never, ever do anything that would endanger anyone in the air OR on the ground.

  9. janet Herrell says:

    Ryan was one of the kids in my daughters circle of friends during high school in Haven. I remember him well such a respectful young man. My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the family and all whos lives Ryan touched. He will be missed.

  10. Jessica says:

    Boss and Mr. Krone,
    I am truly sorry for your losses. Words cannot express how much it hurts and the lack of closure and answers certainly does not help. My prayers with you, your families and all affected by this tragedy. Please keep us updated on the memorial fund.

  11. Peter Gustafson says:

    I had the pleasure of flying with Ryan last year and I kept his business card on my kitchen table as motivation to save money for flying lessons with him. He was professional and showed a real willingness to teach while inspiring confidence in me to follow my dream of flying. Though I had not formally started training, when people asked about the name on the business card I always said, “That’s my flight instructor.” I will always remember Ryan. I hope you and your family can move safely through the pain of loss. We are all pulling for you. -Pete

  12. bahabeauties says:

    I first met Ryan in Salina. He impressed me very much and I hired him on the spot. I remember him and Cristina very well. I remember he and I talking one day about him needing to quit flight school due to the lack of money and come work for me full time for awhile. I refused to allow that, I bumped his hours up and gave him a raise. He was to good of a man to see him loose his dream and wind up selling auto parts in the middle of Kansas. I am a better person for having met him and find myself fighting regret of that pivotal point in our lives. On one hand I know how much he loved flying. He once called me to tell me he was flying backwards for the first time (headwind faster than flight speed) It is clear to me I helped him live his dream. On the other hand Christina and many, many other people will be missing a bright light that was turned off far to soon. Ryan, thank you for being a part of my life.

  13. Anna Mitchell-Cardelli says:

    This happened only a few minutes from my house and when it occurred I had no idea that it was someone I knew. I have not seen any of you in 15 years and did not know Ryan well however I am so sorry for your loss. Travis and Terry my thoughts go out to you and your family.

  14. Terry Brungardt says:

    thank you all so much , it means alot

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