Sunday, August 30, 2020

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N7469P: Fatal accident occurred August 30, 2020 at Coulter Field Airport (KCFD), Bryan, Brazos County, Texas

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. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
McCauley Propeller Systems; Wichita, Kansas

Location: Bryan, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA370
Date & Time: 08/30/2020, 1430 CDT
Registration: N7469P
Aircraft: Piper PA24
Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 30, 2020, about 1430 central daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250 airplane, N7469P, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Bryan, Texas. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a family member, the purpose of the flight was for the pilot to take his family members for a sightseeing flight in the local area. The pilot had recently purchased the airplane about a week before the accident.

According to security video footage at the Coulter Field Airport (CFD), Bryan, Texas, the airplane utilized runway 15 for the takeoff. After takeoff the airplane descended and impacted terrain. The airplane came to rest on a flat grass field on the departure end of runway 15 on airport property.

The airplane sustained substantial damage during the impact. A Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector and an air safety investigator from Piper Aircraft documented the accident site and the wreckage was recovered to a secure location for a future examination of the airframe and the Lycoming O-540 engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7469P
Model/Series: PA24 250
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: KCLL, 328 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 35°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / 21 knots, 140°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.78 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Bryan, TX (CFD)
Destination: Bryan, TX (CFD)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 30.715556, -96.331389 (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

Team Luke Armstrong & his Road to Recovery

Luke Armstrong

Tamara Walker, Victoria Walker, Madeline Walker and David Walker.

BRYAN, Texas — Services for the family killed in a plane crash at Coulter Airfield in Bryan have been set.

The visitation will be Friday, September 4 from 5 - 8 pm at Charles W. Smith Funeral Home in Lavon, Texas. Services will be Saturday, Sept. 5 at Lavon Assembly of God Church beginning at 11 am. There is also a plan for a Livestream event of the funeral as well to allow anyone to come and support the family.

There will also be a graveside service following the funeral at Lakeview cemetery. You are asked to bring bubbles to the graveside service. Victoria, the 21-year-old killed in the crash, had a deep love for Texas A&M sports, according to her sister, Madelyn. Bubbles are a tradition at baseball games.

How You Can Help

The local chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Texas A&M University is raising money for a Texas woman who lost her family in a plane crash in Bryan.

President Chase Maderious set up the GoFundMe account, hoping to rally Aggies worldwide for Madeline Walker. Madeline's sister, Victoria Walker, and her mother and father, Tamara and David Walker, died August 30 when the Piper PA24-250 single-engine plane they were in crashed at the end of the south runway.

A fourth passenger, Luke Armstrong, was also in that crash. He remains in critical condition.

We intend to raise funds for funeral services, memorials, and any other needs for Victoria's sister, Madeline Walker, the GoFundMe stated. Madeline is our family through Victoria and we want to do everything possible to support her in this tragic time.

Victoria was a Sweetheart of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Texas A&M. Luke, her long-time boyfriend, is an officer of TKE, according to the GoFundMe. Maderious stated he is hoping to gather all Tau Kappa Epsilon members worldwide as well as all Aggies to help Madeline lay her family to rest.

The fundraising goal was met two times within 24 hours. The fund is now asking to raise $50,000. So far, nearly $30,000 in donations has come in.

Update on Luke Armstrong

The GoFundMe page is also giving updates on Luke Armstrong. Maderious said Luke was able to give his family "two thumbs up." He continues to be in critical care and will need more surgery. The local TKE chapter is asking for prayers for Luke's recovery.

According to Luke's sister, Mackenzie, he was able to respond to his mother by squeezing her hand three times. At this time, he is breathing on his own and is expected to have surgery Thursday night. If you would like to follow his recovery, you can join the Team Luke Armstrong & His Road to Recovery Page.

Crash Investigation

The NTSB and the FAA have not released any further information on the crash. Their preliminary report is expected to be released the week of September 7, but it could take longer.

Three people who died in a Sunday afternoon plane crash in Bryan were reported to have had connections to Greenville and the Hunt/Collin county area.

A fourth victim of the crash was said to be hospitalized in critical condition.

The Bryan Police Department issued a statement Monday indicating the three killed in the crash were David Walker, 54, Tamara Walker, 51, and Victoria Walker, 21, of Farmersville.

The three were killed when the Piper PA-24-250 Comanche crashed about 2:30 p.m. at Coulter Airfield in Bryan.

Walker, the pilot, was the brother of Hunt County District Attorney Noble D. Walker Jr.

“David was a Greenville boy,” Walker said. “David was Greenville born and raised. Tammy’s maiden name was Abbott and she was the daughter of Bobby and Barbara Abbott of Josephine.”

Walker said that while the family had a Farmersville address, they lived in the city of Josephine, on the Collin County side of the line.

Walker did not know the name of the fourth individual, a male, but said he understood he was an acquaintance of Victoria’s, who remained in a Bryan hospital Monday.

“We’re praying he pulls through,” Walker said.

The FAA and the NTSB were reported to still be investigating the accident Monday, although Walker said from what he’s been able to piece together from family members, his brother and his wife flew down to Bryan Saturday to visit Victoria, who was starting her junior year at Texas A&M.

“They had something to eat, then picked up Victoria and they were going on a little pleasure flight around Bryan,” Walker said.

What happened next is unclear.

“The plane apparently just lost power and hit the runway,” Walker said.

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Bryan Police have confirmed the names of three people who died in Sunday’s plane crash at Coulter Airfield in Bryan.

According to a press release, David Walker, 54, Tamara Walker, 51, and Victoria Walker, 21, died in the crash.

Sources confirm they were a father, mother, and their daughter, who was a senior at Texas A&M University.

Police have yet to confirm the name of the lone survivor of the crash, who is also a student at Texas A&M. The injured person remains in critical condition. It’s unclear his relation to the family.

The FAA says the plane is a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche and it went down shortly before 2:30 p.m. The FAA tells KBTX it will release the tail number of the aircraft after investigators verify it at the accident site. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.

It’s still unclear who currently owns the plane and we don’t know where the flight originated nor where exactly the family was headed.

Bryan police tell KBTX they will secure the scene until federal aviation investigators arrive on site on Monday morning. The public is being asked to avoid the area.

Just after 4:00 p.m., emergency officials announced they would be closing a private road off Wallis Road on the south side of the airport to all traffic. Wallis Road will remain open at this time.

Those living near the scene tell KBTX they saw the plane flying at a very low altitude right before the crash. One resident near the airport said the crash sounded like a loud “car crash”.

After the FAA inspects the scene, a preliminary crash report should be issued by the NTSB in the coming weeks. It could indicate what may have caused the plane to go down. It will sometimes take several months before a final report is completed.

BRYAN, Texas — Three people are dead and one is in the hospital in critical condition after an airplane crash at Coulter Airfield.

The deceased have been identified as David Walker, 54-years-old, Tamara Walker, 51-years-old, and Victoria Walker, 21-years-old, of Farmersville, Texas.

A Piper PA-24-250 Comanche with four people onboard crashed Sunday at an airfield in Bryan, Texas, Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said.

Bryan Police confirmed there were 3 fatalities and one transport.

Four occupants were located inside the plane, three of them were pronounced deceased on scene, according to police.

One occupant was transported to CHI St. Joseph Regional Hospital for their injuries.

One of the fatalities was flight crew and the other 2 were passengers, according to FAA's report.

The report says the aircraft crashed on the runway under unknown circumstances.

The Piper PA-24-250 Comanche crashed about 2:30 p.m. at Coulter Field Airport, according to Lunsford.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

"The FAA will release the tail number of the aircraft after investigators verify it at the accident site," Lunsford said.

Sources who were landing at Coulter Airfield at the time say they saw the airplane upside down.

25 News has a reporter on scene who says emergency crews are responding on the south side of the runway.

Bryan Police say the are securing the scene until the FAA arrives Monday.


  1. Beautiful Sunday afternoon for a flight and three lose their lives with a fourth on the brink. So horribly tragic. Prayers for the families.

  2. history for Bryan (Uses KCLL station):
    Day/ CDT / Wind / Vis / WX / Sky / T / Dp / Rh / Altimeter / mb
    30 13:53 SE6 G24 10.00 A Few Clouds FEW050 95 71 46% 29.78 1007.7
    30 14:53 S 10 10.00 A Few Clouds FEW055 97 71 43% 29.75 1006.9

    KCFD elevation: 360 (Avg)
    Runway 15/33: 4000 ft.
    Density altitude 2,855 ft at time of takeoff.

    1. While posting WX history above and working out density altitude, conditions for takeoff were the focus. Initial reported info did not specify crash during takeoff, so the post should have been phrased "Density altitude 2,855 ft at time of the accident."

    2. Learn how to read. "According to security video footage at the Coulter Field Airport (CFD), Bryan, Texas, the airplane utilized runway 15 for the takeoff. After takeoff the airplane descended and impacted terrain."

    3. RE: "Learn how to read": When the prior comment you responded to was made on 1 September, it was not possible to read the info about security video from the preliminary report, since the preliminary report was published two days later on 9/03/2020.

      Kinda rude to abuse people in comments while ignoring dates associated with commenting and the information coming out. Preliminary report posting date can be found for this accident on page 12 from link below.

  3. Useful load depends on which one of the Comanche singles it is. Nice article here:

  4. Reporting tail number to be N7469P. No flightaware or flightradar24 tracks on it. Does that mean it didnt have ADSB? Another report says it was landing:

  5. Rest in peace those that passed away. Prayers for their families. The photos seem to indicate that it hit and folded the nose over the aft section of the fuselage. It's really hard to tell... it's pretty well wadded up...

  6. My kids go to A&M and know through social media the senior daughter. She posted a photo of the plane just before boarding at Coulter with the line "finally get to see dads new wings in person." So tragic, prayers for the family and survivor. Another question is if they were departing Coulter, why did it crash in landing configuration? Touch and goes? The other odd fact is the tail and main wheels being relatively untouched. It doesnt to appear to have cartwheeled or flipped or the tail would be mangled. It looks like it hit nose first, but how did the front and wings then fold backwards over the top? I can't makes sense of the type of event that would create the damage I see.

    1. Look close and you will recognize the engine cowling with side latches, not crushed, but somehow severed from the rest. Port side tire is deflated/off rim. Photo with fire truck appears to show a diagonal pole from fuselage to under the twisted Starboard wing tip.

      No way to know whether EMS made cuts aft of the engine to open up the cabin before these photos, but I can't makes sense of the sequence that would create the damage either.

    2. NASA has the remedy that when made mandatory by act of Congress these landing gear substitution airbag and parachute safety additions , when added to the under belly of ALL used small planes, theres NOT 1 plane flip over or carbon monoxide cabin build up that kills the pilot when he accesses the manuel landing override lever I read about.

    3. I have no idea what you're trying to say.

    4. To the Horrible Gentleman from Oklahoma Territory - A parachute recovery system would not have worked so close to the ground. Do more research and you will find that parachute systems also kill people - some have burned in the air because an engine fire spread to the cabin as the plane hung in the air. Other chute failures involve deploying them too late, or not enough time. We don't need your snake oil solutions here. What works for cars doesn't not always work for other craft.

  7. From the looks of it, they were on final for runway 33 (flying north) and from what I see, a loss of power on short final caused them to lose airspeed which put them into a stall short of the runway resulting in an impact with the ground that primarily crushed the nose and then caused the tail to act like a scorpion and fold over. My guess is it bounced and rolled into the position it is in after the crash.

    No matter how it happened, it is sad to see a fellow pilot and fellow Aggies lose their lives in such a manner. As stated above, The daughter posted about her dad's new wings on Snapchat just before the crash. Makes me realize how precious life is. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  8. If the weather report is correct, the wind was from the SE at 06 G24. Not likely they would be landing to the NW. With winds gusting to 24, perhaps this was a departure stall during a go-around attempt by the new owner who may not have practiced that yet.

    1. The pilot owned a Comanche previously, it was N5619P, now de-registered. His certificate was issued in 2000, canceled in 2017.

      So he was familiar with flying that model and lived/flew in same area.

  9. Been reading Kathryn's Report for years and this one is the first one to register this close to home. The family is from the Hunt County area northeast of Dallas and practically neighbors. Condolences and Prayers to the surviving family and prayers for the fellow in critical.

  10. Video showing position relative to runway/taxiway pavement:

  11. Video shows what looks like a pole, diagonally under the wing. Best view at 18 seconds. Could the plane have been flipped by hitting the pole when it was almost at the end of crash movement?

  12. I think that is the elevator. In another photo, it shows up better from the rear. Notice the paint on the end of it matches the paint at the end of the wings (stripes). Just an illusion. The damage to the right wing and the way it crumpled suggest to me it was in a nose down, right wing down stall when it impacted. The tail section appears to have broken off and the empennage broke at the firewall folding the rest of the plane forward over the top of the engine.

    1. Okay, yep, looking again it is not a pole. Your description makes sense for seeing the port side engine cowling loose and ending up sitting upright after coming in right wingtip first.

      So, considering the flight direction with the engine stuck in the ground and inertia carrying the rest of the plane forward over the engine while the tail trailed behind: Looks like the impact heading was about 300 degrees. The impact heading is not at all consistent with take off from runway 15.

      Compare the position and orientation in the twitter movie and the news video area view to this map pin:

  13. It looks like the passenger compartment just crumpled downward. Wonder how a Mooney would have handled those forces...I know they build a pretty solid steel roll-cage around the passenger compartment. This Piper frame seems to have folded.

  14. Here's what the plane looked like in 2010

    Looking at the first accident photo, the vertical stabilizer is in front of the leading edge of the right wing, and the engine compartment is under the the left wing, and the entire wing assembly appears to be resting on top of the fuselage. The open baggage door can be seen, as well.
    Here's a video of a Comanche accident in 2018. Slightly similar result, but not quite the same. Note the folded over tail. The 2018 accident might have resulted in the same crash configuration as this one if he had more forward velocity. Just trying to learn from what happened. Prayers for the survivor and the families.

  15. Being fully loaded with 4 adults on a hot day, could they have possibly power-on stalled on runway 15 takeoff, started to go into a spin and then partially recovered from the spin/stall but not all the way causing them to crash? High density altitude, high gross weight combined with a high angle of attack (on takeoff) are 3 dangerous things when all combined together.

    1. Based on the throwover of the plane midsection after the engine dug in, the impact heading is about 300 degrees - see 7:43 pm Sept 2 comment above with pinned map location and use the twitter video to orient.

      The crash location is off to the port side of a 150 degree heading takeoff, but the throwover is facing back opposite. They would have to be inverted at ground contact for a runway 15 takeoff crash to come to rest like that and the tail would not be/look like it does if they hit inverted.

    2. , and if you guys agree with meDjustthere's no wadon't think there's any wayy they would have been able to be flying inverted with the gross weiTht and they probably got b/c of the circumstances somehow, tried to turn back or started to go into a spin, and hit nose first.
      You guys let me know your thoughts. Luke is one of my really gcollege ood friend, and I really hope he is ok. He loves planes, and I've taken him flying a few times myself..air density they had.

    3. Not sure about some of the jumbled text above, but this accident certainly could be a failed "impossible turn" attempt if they were trying to turn left and go back due to power loss during climb following a RW15 takeoff. That would fit with the apparent 300 degree impact heading at the location pinned on the map.

    4. so the tail of the aircraft just flung over the top from inertia? seems like it would take a ton of G-forces in impact to make that happen.

    5. Consider a possible impact scenario of 60 degree nose down impact angle, no flare underway, with right side wingtip a little bit lower than the left and heading toward that fire truck. Ground contact begins with embedment of the extended nose gear strut and lower portion of the engine, causing a massive decelleration while forcing the nose upward.

      Observe from the photos that the fuselage underbelly skin between the leading edge of the wings curves heavily in the direction consistent with the engine being forced upward at initial impact. Bending of the structure and the aluminum skin there reached almost 90 degrees before the underbelly skin separation occurred.

      The rest of the plane rotated across the embedded forward section and was thrown over into the inverted position, propped up on the engine when everything stopped moving.

      The vertical stab and horizontal stabilator lagged during the throwover due to having to suddenly accelerate the mass of the tail assembly and overcome air resistance acting flat-on across the upper surface of the stabilator as the tail swings up. Forces during that motion exceeded design strength, separating the tail and aft fuselage from the aircraft midsection. The tail dropped back and stopped upright without any vertical stab tip crushing or rudder damage.

      The above scenario is one possible explanation for what can be seen from available images.

  16. My thought is hot day 95 F, density altitude, and heavy airplane. Stall. Not much other evidence available to support flight condition and attitude, airspeed, etc. However, huge clue may be here: the only person of the name of who was likely the pilot in the city where the accident happened did not have a PPL, rather an A&P. An unauthorized 'little flight' perhaps in a customer's airplane?

    1. Bryan mechanic DAVID EDWARD WALKER JR was not piloting the accident airplane. It was DAVID ERIC WALKER (certified pilot from Farmersville TX in the Airmen database) that perished in the accident.

      And the pilot owned a Comanche previously - see earlier comments.

  17. If you look at some of the pictures there are quite a few first responders at this crash so I believe they lifted the wing assembly up on top of the main cabin to access the victims, because yes this looks very confusing on how that wing could have ended up on top like that.

    1. No. The Comanche is not made up as a fuselage fastened on top of a separate "wing assembly" unit that runs all the way across. You are thinking of R/C model designs.

  18. Replies
    1. @Apachejeff, no this is all crash damage. The first responders would not lift the wing up like that to get inside because it is easier to use jaws of life to cut into the top of the fuselage without having to worry about the mechanics of folding up the wings up over the cabin (not to mention completely disturbing the crash scene, potentially getting doused in the fuel in the wings, crushing important clues in the cabin).

  19. PER FACEBOOK. "The next step of Luke’s journey will be outpatient therapy because.....
    On Thursday, October 15th, Luke is scheduled to come home!!!! "