Monday, February 10, 2020

Beechcraft F33A Bonanza, N6665U: Fatal accident occurred February 08, 2020 near Granbury Regional Airport (KGDJ), Hood County, Texas

Aerial view of the accident airplane surrounded by trees.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Granbury, TX
Accident Number: CEN20FA076
Date & Time: 02/08/2020, 1315 CST
Registration: N6665U
Aircraft: Beech 33
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 8, 2020, about 1315 central standard time, a Beech F33A airplane, N6665U, impacted trees and terrain near Granbury, Texas. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to B & J Aviation LLC and was operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Mineral Wells Airport (MWL), Mineral Wells, Texas, about 1248.

A review of the recorded ADS-B data revealed that the airplane had approached Granbury Regional Airport (GDJ), Granbury, Texas, from the northwest about 1301 and overflew runway 14 at 900 ft above ground level (agl). After the runway overflight, it turned right toward the northwest on a wide downwind leg and gradually descended to about 400 ft agl. The airplane then made a right base turn and the final data point was at 13:05:07, about 440 ft agl, and 93 knots ground speed. The accident site was located 2.32 nautical miles north-northwest of the final recorded ADS-B location. Figure 1 shows the recorded flight track with the accident site and GDJ labeled.

Flight track in red with the accident site and GDJ airport labeled.

A further review of the ADS-B data showed that at least three other airplanes were also flying in the immediate GDJ airport environment at the same time as the accident airplane. One pilot stated that he landed before the accident airplane and did not hear any unusual calls on the radio. Another pilot stated that he was behind the accident airplane in the pattern and observed it land and taxi toward the hangars and fuel pump area. The GDJ airport manager stated that his employees did not see the accident airplane arrive that day.

The responding Federal Aviation (FAA) inspector talked to an MWL airport employee who fueled the accident airplane prior to the departure. She stated that the pilot requested fuel "to the slots" so she complied and added 13 gallons of fuel. The fuel filler port placards on the airplane wings state "CAP TO TAB SLOT 35 GAL (32 USABLE)."

The accident site was located in an area of flat, rocky terrain about 3.75 nautical miles northwest of GDJ at 830 ft msl. The airplane impacted the ground in a nose low attitude, estimated about 45° down, and was oriented on a 068° true heading. The empennage was bent upward and the elevators rested on a tree. The airplane remained situated on top of the initial ground impact marks. Figure 2 shows an aerial view of the accident airplane where it came to rest surrounded by trees.

A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed that the leading edges of both wings were breached at the rivet lines and were split open. The fuel bladders in each wing had ruptured and were significantly damaged. A large portion of the right main fuel bladder and the entire fuel transmitter assembly had ejected and were found about 10 ft in front of the wing. The fiberglass wing tip tanks sustained impact damage and large portions of the tanks were fractured and displaced forward and outward. The dirt and organic debris in front of the wings was displaced forward. The fuel selector handle was positioned to the left main tank. The flap actuator revealed that the flaps were retracted during the impact and the landing gear were extended.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe through wires, hoses, and cables. The firewall and a portion of the airframe had wrapped around the back of the engine. There were no holes in the crankcase and all six cylinders remained attached; most of the impact damage was sustained to the bottom of the engine. When manually rotated, the crankshaft was continuous from front to back and the camshaft operated normally. Five of six cylinders produced suction and compression and the sixth cylinder had damage to the intake pushrod. The inside of each cylinder was examined with a lighted borescope; they displayed normal operating signatures with no anomalies noted. The top spark plugs were examined after removal and the bottom spark plugs were examined using a borescope. The electrodes all displayed normal wear and operating signatures. The fuel manifold valve remained attached to its installation point and was undamaged. The fuel line from the fuel flow transducer and the manifold valve was disconnected from the transducer and a small amount of liquid was drained. The liquid odor was consistent with fuel, was clear in color, and tested negative for water contamination.

The propeller assembly was found in the initial impact crater, embedded in the ground under the engine, and was separated from the engine crankshaft. Two of the propeller blades remained attached to the hub; one blade was mostly straight and unremarkable and the other was bent slightly forward. The third blade was separated from the hub; it was found directly under the engine and was bent aft about mid-span. This blade also exhibited scratches and superficial damage near the blade sleeve which extended outward about 1 ft.

The pilot recently completed a flight review with a certified flight instructor on January 7, 2020. The flight was a 1.2 hour round trip (MWL-GDJ-MWL) and included steep turns, slow flight, stalls, cross country navigation, preflight planning, autopilot use, and 3 takeoffs and landings. The instructor stated that from 2014 to 2016 he completed numerous instrument training flights with the pilot, but eventually stopped because the pilot did not want to pursue an instrument rating any longer.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N6665U
Model/Series: 33 F33A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGDJ, 778 ft msl
Observation Time: 1315 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / 14 knots, 130°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Mineral Wells, TX (MWL)
Destination: Granbury, TX (GDJ) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.444444, -97.816944 (est)

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

James Barrie Coffield Jr.
December 17, 1948 - February 08, 2020

James Barrie Coffield, Jr., 71, of Weatherford, Texas, was in a fatal airplane accident on February 8th, 2020, while doing what he loved to do.

Graveside service:  2:00 p.m., Friday, February 21st, 2020 at Elmwood Cemetery, 1115 E. Nelson St., Bowie, Texas 76230.  A Celebration of Life will follow at 5:00 p.m. at Joe T. Garcia's Restaurant, 2201 N. Commerce St., Fort Worth, Texas 76164.

Memorials:  Cal Farley's Boys Ranch or your charity of choice.

James was born Dec. 17, 1948 in Bowie, Texas and graduated from Bowie High School in 1967.  He attended the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at Arlington, earning degrees in Business Administration and Political Science.  He worked in the oil and gas industry for 44 years and served on the Board of Directors for Legend Bank in Bowie for 25 years.  James greatly enjoyed the outdoors.  He was an avid fisherman and hunter, taking many trips, not only in the U.S., but several in Africa.  Other interests included flying his plane and reading books by his favorite authors.

James was preceded in death by his parents, James Barrie Coffield, Sr. and Dorothy Jackson Coffield.

Survivors:  Brother, John Whit Coffield and his wife, Pam; niece, Jenna Loeffelholz and her husband, John, and their daughters, Anna and Grace; niece, Kaley Coffield; nephew, Adam Coffield; and many wonderful cousins.

The pilot from last weekend's Beechcraft F33A Bonanza plane crash has been identified. 

The body of James B. Coffield Jr., 71, of Weatherford, Texas was found in the wreckage on Black Diamond H Ranch northwest of Granbury Sunday morning, according to the highway patrol. 

Coffield was flying from Mineral Wells to the Granbury Regional Airport when his plane went down. 

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

GRANBURY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — An investigation is underway after a fatal plane crash in Granbury Saturday.

At approximately 11:10 a.m. February 9th, Highway Patrol Troopers were called to the wreckage site of a plane crash north of FM 4 and west of CR 2580. When troopers arrived, they found a Beechcraft F33A Bonanza with the sole occupant dead inside.

Officials said the accident is suspected to have occurred Saturday because that is when the pilot — who has not been identified — had filed a flight plan from Mineral Wells to Granbury.

The Federal Aviation Administration as well as the National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Track from Flight Radar 24-

    It looks like he overflew the runway, turned right, flew an extended downwind (not that square so it doesn't look like a pattern), then turned across the approach path, and then crashed. Caveat: ADSB data isn't that reliable down low so just because the track stops that doesn't mean the aircraft did.

  2. This is weird. Jan 12, 1965. Same N-number

  3. ^^Not really. Tail numbers, at least in the US and in general aviation, can be recycled like phone numbers if the former aircraft is written off by the insurance company and the tail number is made open and available again by the FAA.

    1. Yeah but how many times does the same N-number crash? The Mooney in the link went down in 1965.

  4. Well 55 years later we found out from a different aircraft that it can happen twice!

  5. Same state also, just too weird

  6. What's the stall speed in that airplane with the gear down, no flaps and a 30 to 45 degree bank?

  7. Stall speed for all Bonanza models depends on if the wing had the vortex generator mod which means lower than stock stall speeds. Full dirty stall in a stock F33A is 51kts dirty and 64kts clean. So expect clean wing with gear down stall speed to be closer to 64kts but there's no official number for that that was tested for FAA certified book numbers.