Monday, December 21, 2020

Wheeler Express Series 2000, N772BM: Fatal accident occurred December 21, 2020 near Grand Prairie Municipal Airport (KGPM), Dallas 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 Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas 
Location: Grand Prairie, TX 
Accident Number: CEN21LA096
Date & Time: December 21, 2020, 14:52 Local
Registration: N772BM
Aircraft: Express CT 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 21, 2020, about 1452 central standard time, an Express CT, N772BM, was involved in an accident near Grand Prairie, Texas. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

A witness stated he was standing on the ramp at the departure airport and saw the airplane takeoff from runway 17. After takeoff, the airplane entered a right crosswind and began a turn north for a right downwind departure. He said the airport air traffic control tower instructed the flight to "keep it tight” to avoid Arlington, Texas, airspace. The airplane’s bank angle increased significantly before entering a steep dive. After the airplane began the dive, the witness heard the engine power up to what sounded like full throttle. Shortly after, he lost sight of the airplane and then saw the plume of smoke from the impact. He said that it appeared him that the airplane may have entered an accelerated stall.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Express 
Registration: N772BM
Model/Series: CT 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Operating Certificate(s)
Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GPM,589 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:50 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Grand Prairie, TX 
Destination: Denton, TX (DTO)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.698778,-97.046917 (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

Mr. Larry Vieregge
AUGUST 18, 1949 – DECEMBER 21, 2020

Larry was born August 18, 1949, in Colorado City, Texas to Elmer and Novelle Vieregge. He passed away on December 21, 2020.

He attended Lubbock Christian School, and Graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in electrical engineering.

He served in the US Air Force where he learned to fly planes. He loved to fly and before his death he was giving flying lessons to others as a pastime.

Larry attended the Church of Christ. At the time of his passing, he was attending Lake Cities Church of Christ in Trophy Club, TX.

He is survived by his wife Kennette Vieregge of Grapevine TX; His two sons, David Vieregge of Carrollton, TX and Bryan Vieregge (Megan) of Plano, TX, and his three grandsons of Plano, TX.

The Funeral Service will be held on December 30, 2020 at 10am with visitation for an hour prior in the Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home chapel.

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office on Friday, Dec. 25, confirmed the identities of the two men killed in a small plane crash in Grand Prairie on Monday, Dec. 21.

John Robert Frazier, 65, of Trophy Club and Larry Ronald Vieregge, 71, of Grapevine died at the scene shortly before 3:00 p.m. when their plane crashed along the SH 360 service road Near Mayfield Road.

It’s not clear which person was the pilot and which was the passenger.

The plane took off from Grand Prairie Municipal Airport just minutes before the crash, Grand Prairie Fire Chief Robert Fite said Monday.

Witnesses said the plane hit a telephone pole, then hit a truck and came to rest next to the Sonic parking lot where it caught fire.

Chief Fite said firefighters extinguished it quickly.

The person in the truck was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration is leading the investigation.

The plane caught fire after coming to rest in a grassy area near a Sonic drive-in restaurant, Fite said.

“The plane was in obvious distress coming down,” Fite said. “We do not know if this was an emergency landing or a catastrophic failure.”

Authorities were still working Tuesday to determine the cause of a plane crash that killed two people in Grand Prairie a day earlier.

The plane crashed just before 3 p.m. Monday near a Sonic Drive-In parking lot along the service road of State Highway 360 near East Mayfield Road. Federal Aviation Administration records show that one member of the flight crew and one passenger were killed in the crash.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

The Wheeler Express Series 2000 was registered to a Denton County man, records show.

The daughter of the plane’s owner declined to comment Tuesday.

As the plane tried to land, it hit a truck driving along the service road, Grand Prairie Fire Chief Robert Fite said. The driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The Grand Prairie Fire Department said the plane had been traveling from Denton. It stopped at the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport and crashed shortly after takeoff, about a mile west of the airport, officials said.

Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the agency is working with the FAA and the aircraft manufacturer as they try to determine “not only what happened, but also why it happened.”

The NTSB expects to have a preliminary report about the crash in about two weeks. The agency won’t declare a cause for the accident until the investigation is complete, which could take over a year.

Weiss said investigators are working to make contact with any witnesses to the crash or “anyone who could shed light on the last moments of flight.”

Neither the NTSB nor the FAA releases the identities of victims in aircraft accidents. A spokeswoman for the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said its team was working on identifying the victims.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has identified a 71-year-old man from Grapevine as one of the victims in a plane crash Monday in Grand Prairie.

The Grand Prairie Police Department confirmed two white men died in the plane crash Monday. The medical examiner identified Larry Ronald Vieregge of Grapevine as one of the victims. As of Thursday morning, the medical examiner hadn’t yet confirmed the identity of the second victim.

A small plane took off from the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport and crashed a few minutes later about a mile west from the airport. The occupants of the single-engine Wheeler Express were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash along the State Highway 360 service road near East Mayfield Road, near a Sonic Drive-In. The plane was initially in Denton that morning.

The medical examiner’s public portal shows Vieregge died of blunt-force injuries with thermal trauma due to the crash. Records from the Federal Aviation Administration show he was issued a private pilot certificate in 2017.

FAA records show the plane was registered to a man from Roanoke in Denton County.

Authorities said Monday the plane landed in Grand Prairie from Denton Enterprise Airport. It later took off from Grand Prairie and the Grand Prairie Police Department said it started getting 911 calls around 2:53 p.m. about an aircraft crash around the Arlington-Grand Prairie border.

The plane crashed about a mile west of the airport, striking a telephone pole before hitting the concrete multiple times. Sgt. Eric Hansen with Grand Prairie police said the plane also hit a pickup, injuring the person inside. The occupant was taken to a local hospital with injuries that weren’t considered serious.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. A spokesperson for the organization said a preliminary report on the crash will be available in about two weeks.

Two people were killed when a small plane crashed along the Texas 360 service road in Grand Prairie Monday afternoon.

The plane took off from Grand Prairie Municipal Airport at 2:45 p.m. Monday and crashed approximately five minutes later, according to Grand Prairie Fire Chief Robert Fite.

The plane was headed north when it hit a utility pole near the service road for northbound Texas 360 near East Mayfield Road, near a Sonic restaurant.

The aircraft then hit the ground and struck a nearby pickup truck, where it then caught fire, Fite said. Both people on board the plane were killed. Further information hasn't been released about the victims.

A person inside the truck was treated for minor injuries. No one else was injured.

The cause of the crash is not yet known. Fite said the plane originally left Denton earlier in the day, before landing in Grand Prairie.

Emergency crews are asking people to avoid the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration is leading the investigation.


  1. Third GA fatal crash in North Texas in four days. Y'all be careful out there.

    1. Yeah, I saw that on an aviation YouTube channel that I watch, a very tragic accident, 2020 has been a terrible year for GA aviation accidents.

  2. They were doing the right thing attempting to land on that road. Trouble is that service road is pretty tight between the buildings, the utility poles, and the traffic. But it's the best option they had. Really a shame.

    1. Simple speculation that they were trying to land on the road. Even a accident investigation may not determine what they may have been trying to do. If it was a matter of loss of control then the airplane is going to end up where it does. A accident investigation would probably indicate if the airplane was under control, anything else is speculation. Speaking as a 50 year pilot that has witnessed more than one airplane crash.

  3. This is a great reason to be extra vigilant any time the tower says to keep the pattern tight, and if you are uncomfortable then say unable. There have been accidents due to this.

    "He said the airport air traffic control tower instructed the flight to "keep it tight” to avoid Arlington, Texas, airspace. The airplane’s bank angle increased significantly before entering a steep dive. After the airplane began the dive, the witness heard the engine power up to what sounded like full throttle. Shortly after, he lost sight of the airplane and then saw the plume of smoke from the impact. He said that it appeared him that the airplane may have entered an accelerated stall."

    1. So, the witness was a pilot? It 'appeared' to him that it was an accelerated stall? Lets let the investigators determine probable cause. All else is speculation. First rule in aviation: FLY THE AIRPLANE, everything else is secondary including a request to 'keep it tight'. To even suggest that this was caused by the tower is ridiculous and unnecessary. The accident nor any others were caused by this. Loss of control, if that is the determining cause, is a matter of aerodynamics and pilot control. Speaking from being a 50 year pilot.