Monday, April 16, 2018

Experimental, amateur-built Bordiuk Challenger II Special airplane, N635DT, expired registration: Fatal accident occurred April 15, 2018 in Friona, Parmer County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N635DT

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Friona, TX
Accident Number: CEN18FA140
Date & Time: 04/15/2018, 2100 CDT
Registration: N635DT
Aircraft: BORDIUK CHALLENGER II
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On April 15, 2018, about 2100 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Bordiuk Challenger II Special airplane, N635DT, was substantially damaged following a collision with terrain near Friona, Texas. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured. The airplane registration had expired. The flight was being operated by the flight instructor as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Hefner Farms Airport (7TS9), Bovina, Texas, about 2020.

The flight instructor's wife reported that the accident flight departed "right at sunset." The instructor's sister reportedly observed the airplane fly over about 2045; she was located about 3 miles north of the departure airstrip at the time.

The airplane was reported overdue about 2245 and was subsequently located about 0100 the following morning. It had impacted a harvested corn field about 0.4 miles northwest from the departure airstrip. The airplane came to rest upright on a south heading.

Sunset occurred at 2020 on the day of the accident, with civil twilight ending at 2046. Local weather conditions were reported as clear skies and surface winds at less than 10 knots about the time of the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BORDIUK
Registration: N635DT
Model/Series: CHALLENGER II SPECIAL
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: CVN, 4216 ft msl
Observation Time: 1956 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Bovina, TX (7TS9)
Destination: Bovina, TX (7TS9)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  34.608333, -102.866111

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


Jake Hefner, 24, of Bovina, Texas passed away Monday, April 16, 2018 in Bovina. Celebration of Life Services will be Saturday at 11:00 AM at the First Baptist Church of Friona with Rev. Brett Hoyle officiating, burial to follow at the Friona Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Colonial Funeral Home of Dimmitt. Family and friend visitation will be Thursday evening from 5:00-7:00 PM at the funeral home.

Jake was born May 17, 1993 in Hobbs, New Mexico to Tommy and Jill (Barbour) Hefner. Jake grew up in Friona. Jake was an Eagle Scout and a National Merit Scholar. He attended and graduated from LeTourneau University with a Bachelor of Science and Mission Aviation Concentration Degree and was the Distinguished Graduate of his class. He met the love of his life Amanda Ratliff while in college and they married on May 24, 2015. He and Amanda moved back to Bovina in 2015 where Jake farmed, ranched and was an Aircraft Mechanic and Flight Instructor. He enjoyed guns, farming, ranching, flying but his greatest above all these were spending time with his family and Clayton Sides. Jake was looking forward to being a great father. 

Those left to cherish Jake’s memories are his wife, Amanda Hefner of Bovina, a soon to be son, T. Rex Hefner of Bovina; his parents, Tommy and Jill Hefner of Friona; a sister, Callie Mae Hefner Clark of Friona; his grandparents, Tom and Jackie Hefner of Friona; Mary Lea Hefner of San Marcos and Fredericka Barbour of Quanah, Texas, Jake’s in-laws, Garvon and Ann Ratliff of Cypress, brothers-in-law, Thomas and William Ratliff both of Cypress, Texas. He is survived by uncles, aunts and cousins. 

Jake is preceded in death by a brother, Joshua Hefner and his grandfathers, Larry Barbour and Robert Hefner.

In lieu of flowers the family has set up an account with InterBank of Friona named, “The Thomas Rex Hefner Account”, 1105 Cleveland Avenue, Friona, TX. 79035


You may go online and sign the guestbook at www.colonialfuneralhome.org 

Clayton “Mo” Sides, 25 of Dimmitt passed away Monday, April 16, 2018 in Parmer County. Celebration of Life Services will be Friday at 11:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church of Dimmitt with Rev. T.C. Broom and Eliezer Garrido officiating.  Arrangements are being handled by Colonial Funeral Home of Dimmitt. Family and friend visitation will be Thursday from 5:00-7:00PM at the funeral home.

Clayton was born March 6, 1993 in Lubbock, Texas to Gregg and Lynn (Irwin) Sides. He graduated from Springlake High School and Texas Tech University. Clayton was in the Army Reserve, 974th Quarter Master Unit in Amarillo, Texas for six years. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Dimmitt. Clayton enjoyed playing All Star Little League Baseball, aviation, snowboarding, working with his father, Gregg and Grandfather George, welding, woodworking, farming and the cattle industry.

Those left to cherish Clayton’s memories are his parents, Gregg and Lynn Sides of Dimmitt; a brother, Benjamin Sides of Austin, a sister, Kathleen Sides of Ft. Worth; his grandparents, George and Carolyn Sides of Dimmitt and his step-grandmother, Carol Irwin of Royal City, Washington, numerous uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Clayton is preceded in death by his grandparents, Lee and Verna Irwin and his aunt, Laurie Hill. 

In lieu of flowers the family has set up an account with InterBank of Friona named, "The Thomas Rex Hefner Account", 1105 Cleveland Avenue, Friona, TX 79035


You may go online and sign the guestbook at www.colonialfuneralhome.org 






PARMER COUNTY, TX (KFDA) -  Two men are dead after the Quad City Challenger II they were flying in crashed in to a field in Parmer County.

The Quad City Challenger II took off from a grass airstrip on a private piece of property roughly 5 miles east of Friona.

Parmer County Sheriff Randy Geries says reports indicate the Quad City Challenger II may not have been in the air too long before it crashed.

"We believe they hadn't been flying long," said Sheriff Geries. "It was just a little bit before dusk [when they took off.] We were told they hadn't been gone that long, but then they became overdue, and after it got dark they began to worry about them.

The plane came to rest in the middle of a wheat field.

The FAA was out investigating in the early morning, tearing through every piece of this wreckage trying to piece together exactly what happened.

The top of the plane had to be weighed down by an engine and a big tire due to the heavy winds.

Reports say the plane was last spotted around 8:30 p.m.

Two hours later, a 911 call was placed, reporting the aircraft and its two passengers had gone missing.

Multiple agencies aided in the search including: the Bovina Fire Dept., the Friona Fire Dept., Friona Police Dept., Parmer County Sheriffs Office and Department of Public Safety.

"We had local fire departments, from both Bovina and Friona come in [to] assist us with the ground search," said Sheriff Geries. "We involved the Department of Public Safety, they sent officers and we also had their aircraft out of Amarillo come and help us."

Sheriff Geries credits advanced technology on a DPS helicopter for helping to locate the downed plane around 1:00 a.m.

The FAA and NTSB are still investigating what caused the crash, but both men were reportedly experienced pilots.

Sheriff Geries called the incident a tragedy.

"We have a lot of people that have small aircraft around in the area," said Geries. "We don't have this happen, its a tragedy when it does happen. We don't know what happened, but we have a couple young men that lost their lives. Our hearts go out to the family. Now it's just trying to figure out what happened so we can educate ourselves and move forward for the family." 

The two passengers onboard the plane have been identified as 25 year-old Clayton Sides from Dimmitt, and 25 year-old Thomas Hefner from Bovina.

A family friend said both men were outstanding citizens and will be missed dearly.

Original article can be found here ➤  http://www.newschannel10.com





PARMER COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - Two people have died after a plane crashed in Parmer County Sunday evening.

Department of Public Safety officials say an aircraft failed to return after taking off from the owner's home. 

The plane was last seen around 8:30 p.m. in flight west of Friona.

Around 10:43 p.m., 911 was called to report the plane missing. 

A ground search was conducted, and a Department of Public Safety aircraft located the plane around eight miles west of Friona.

Both occupants of the aircraft were found dead.

They have been identified as 25-year-old Clayton Sides of Dimmitt and 25-year-old Thomas Jacob Hefner of Bovina.

At this time, Department of Public Safety troopers are securing the scene until Federal Aviation Administration arrive.  The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.kcbd.com




PARMER COUNTY, TX - Two people are dead following a plane crash in Parmer County Sunday evening. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety, the plane crashed in a cornfield approximately 8 miles west of Friona. 

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Quad City Challenger II took off from a private airstrip around 8:00 p.m.

The Department of Public Safety said the plane was reported missing around 10:30 p.m.

Authorities located the downed aircraft around 1:00 a.m. Monday.

The Department of Public Safety identified the victims as Clayton Sides, 25, of Dimmitt and Thomas Jacob Hefner, 25 of Bovina.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the victims were reported to be a flight instructor and a student. 

Federal Aviation Administration investigators are on their way to the crash site and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. 

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.

Original article ➤ http://www.everythinglubbock.com

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