Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beech A36 Bonanza, Rex Grimsley Inc., N8283D : Fatal accident occurred August 31, 2016 at Bentonville Municipal Airport (KVBT), Benton County, Arkansas


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Little Rock FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA341
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 31, 2016 in Bentonville, AR
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N8283D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 31, 2016, about 0930 central daylight time, a Beech model 36, N8283D, was destroyed when it impacted a hangar during an attempted takeoff from runway 18 at the Bentonville Municipal Airport (VBT), Bentonville, Arkansas. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postimpact explosion and fire. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Springdale Municipal Airport (ASG), Springdale, Arkansas.

Surveillance video obtained during the on-scene portion of the investigation showed that the accident airplane was departing on runway 18, when it abruptly veered to the east. Another airplane was visible on the recording and was rolling to the north on the same runway. The other airplane had reportedly just landed on runway 36. After veering to the east, the accident airplane crossed the un-paved ground between the runway and the airport ramp area. The airplane became airborne and travelled out of the frame of the video, however, the explosion and fireball were visible on the recording.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

In Memory of Rex Lanier Grimsley
March 27, 1946 - August 31, 2016


Rex Lanier Grimsley, of Bentonville, Ark., passed away on August 31, 2016 in a plane crash at the Bentonville Municipal Airport.

He was a committed husband, loving father and grandfather, and Christian. He will be greatly missed by his devoted family, Carolyn Boling Grimsley, his wife of 49 years; son, James Paul Grimsley of Bentonville and his fiancé, Heather Holland; daughter, Jill Grimsley Drewyor of Bentonville and her husband Pine Drewyor; also by his grandchildren, Harper Grimsley (19), a student at the University of Arkansas, Macy Grimsley (18), a student at Texas Christian University, and Margot Drewyor (10), Beatrix Drewyor (6), and James Truman Drewyor (4) of Bentonville.

A cattle broker, avid quail hunter, and pilot, Grimsley was a lifelong resident of Vaughn, just west of Bentonville. He frequently made trips to Texas in his Beechcraft Bonanza to entertain family and friends on bird hunting trips. He spent the evening preceding his death with his family celebrating his grandson's birthday. He died the following morning piloting his aircraft after evading an incoming aircraft at the local airport. 

The older of two children, Grimsley was born in 1946 and raised in Vaughn. His parents, James Knox Grimsley and Wanda Lou Rodgers Grimsley, preceded him in death. He is survived by his sister, Ruthann Grimsley Strickland, and her husband Steve Strickland, of Little Rock. 

Grimsley graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Business degree in 1968, following which he taught distributive education classes in Pine Bluff and later at Bentonville High School. He later attended the U of A and obtained a Masters of Business Administration. He was an ardent Razorbacks fan. Grimsley was an entrepreneur at heart and owned several successful businesses throughout his career, including F&G Feed Store, where he was partners first with Bob Fuqua and later with George Huber, and Brookside Seed Company and Bentonville Lube 'N Go, where he was also partners with Huber, and a prosperous cattle broker business. He was a shareholder and director at Grand Savings Bank.

He was a longtime cattleman, he grew up on a dairy farm in Bentonville, and began running his own beef cattle in 1970. He maintained many interests in agriculture, primarily in the cattle market and was a fixture at several area cattle auctions. Grimsley raised commercial cattle, registered Charolais, and registered Brangus in the Bentonville area and also at Arkoma Land and Cattle Company in Delaware County, Oklahoma. He was joined in the cattle operation by his son, Paul, who will continue to carry on the family tradition.

Grimsley valued work ethic and was known for his entrepreneurship and love for deal making. He loved finance and greatly enjoyed his participation with First National Bank (formerly Citizens Bank) in Bentonville, and later with Grand Savings Bank. His keen mind, quick wit and love of fun made him good company. He was a well-known prankster. Grimsley was a friend to many and enjoyed entertaining family and friends at his Rooster Ridge hunting lodge and had a great affection for his hunting dogs and household pets. He adored his grandchildren. He was a longstanding church member at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He will be fondly remembered and missed dearly.

Visitation will be 5 to 7pm on Tuesday, September 6 at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Rogers. Funeral services will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, September 7, also at the church. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Life Ranch, 160 New Life Ranch Dr. Colcord, OK 74338, Grimsley was a supporter of the mission of NLR.

Arrangements are by Callison-Lough Funeral Home of Bentonville. Online condolences may be made at

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A man piloting a plane that crashed at Bentonville Municipal Airport Wednesday morning (Aug. 31) has died.

Police identified the pilot as Rex L. Grimsley, 70, of Bentonville, according to Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department.

Page said the plane crashed into an airport hangar around 9:30 a.m. during takeoff. The pilot was the only one on board the six-passenger 1983 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza.

Brandon Nolker, who works at the airport, said a plane was landing at the same time the pilot who died was taking off.

“A guy I work with saw the wing go past and said look out and there was no time to react,” he said. “It sounded like a bomb was going off.”

The Federal Aviation Administration will determine the ultimate cause of the crash. An FAA team from Little Rock has been called in to investigate, which is standard procedure when a plane crashes.

According to the City of Bentonville website, the municipal airport houses 41 single engine and two multiple engine aircraft. The city owns one enclosed t-hangar with six units and one open t-hanger with five units. There are five private box hangars of various sizes and a sixth enclosed t-hangar with eight units.


BENTONVILLE —A plane crashed into a hangar at the Bentonville Municipal Airport killing the pilot Wednesday morning, according to Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department.

Witnesses said the plane was preparing to take off when it hit the hangar, according to Paige.

A preliminary investigation by Bentonville Police identified the pilot was identified as Rex L. Grimsley, 70, of Bentonville, according to Chief Jon Simpson.

The aircraft was a 1983 Beechcraft Bonanza, according to police. It could carry 6 passengers, and was a single-engine, fixed-range aircraft.

Witness Brandon Nolker was in the hangar next to the one that was hit. He told 40/29 News "it sounded like a bomb went off."

"It's just tragic, it's a sad event," Nolker said.

No other aircraft or persons on the ground were injured, Page said. The airport will remain closed for the immediate future.

The FAA is on the way to the airport to take over the investigation.

The Bentonville Municipal Airport is northeast of the larger Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

The Bentonville Municipal Airport houses 41 single engine and two multiple engine aircraft, according to the airport's website. The airport is 140 acres large.

There are a total of 8 hangars, at the airport, including two owned by the City of Bentonville.


The pilot of a 1983 Beechcraft Bonanza was killed Wednesday morning when his plane crashed into a hangar at the Bentonville Municipal Airport, said Gene Page, spokesman for the Bentonville Police Department.

The pilot was identified as Rex L. Grimsley, 70, of Bentonville, according to a news release issued Wednesday afternoon.

Grimsley was the only person on board, and there were no other injuries, the news release stated.

Page said he did not know what caused the crash, which happened during takeoff.

The airport is closed, and Federal Aviation Administration investigators are headed to the scene, Page said.

Joey Standley, who works at nearby Northwest Arkansas Winwater, said he and others saw a plane flying low near the hangar, then saw black smoke and called 911.

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