Friday, March 26, 2021

Beech 35 Bonanza, N3953N: Accident occurred March 26, 2021 near Bridgeport Municipal Airport (KXBP), Wise 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; Dallas, Texas

Location: Bridgeport, TX
Accident Number: CEN21LA167
Date & Time: March 26, 2021, 15:27 Local
Registration: N3953N
Aircraft: Beech 35
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 26, 2021, at 1527 central standard time, a Beech 35 airplane, N3953N, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Bridgeport, Texas. The pilot and flight examiner were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated the purpose of the flight was to conduct his biannual flight review. He and the evaluator landed at Bridgeport Municipal Airport (XBP), Texas and topped off the fuel tanks. On departure they practiced a simulated loss of engine power and made a return to XBP. The pilot stated they encountered a strong downdraft on base turn to final, but did not recall what happened after that. A witness observed the airplane traveling over highway 380 near the airport at a low altitude. He said the nose of the airplane was up in the air and the tail of the airplane barely cleared the power lines along the highway. After crossing the road the nose of the airplane lifted higher and the airplane banked to the right. The right wing hit trees and the airplane descended out of sight. Both wings and the fuselage were substantially damaged.

The wreckage will be recovered to a secure location and examined at a later date.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N3953N
Model/Series: 35 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KXBP,851 ft msl 
Observation Time: 15:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 33.182663,-97.82665 (est)

Two occupants of a single-engine plane were taken to hospitals following a crash near the Bridgeport Airport Friday afternoon.

The crash was reported around 3:30 p.m. between Bridgeport and Runaway Bay just south of U.S. 380.

First responders arrived on the scene to find the Beechcraft Bonanza plane belly-down in the backyard of a home on the south side of U.S. 380, just north of the runway at the airport.

“Preliminary investigation indicates a Beechcraft aircraft was approaching the airport to land when the aircraft clipped some trees and went down short of the runway,” said Sgt. Ricky Hunter, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Witnesses at the scene reported to dispatchers that the plane was briefly on fire before it was extinguished.

Two men, ages 78 and 76, were the plane’s occupants and sustained undisclosed injuries. Their identities and conditions have not been released by investigators.

Air Evac Lifeteam 68 responded to the scene and landed in a grassy area near the crash site.

One occupant was flown to a Metroplex hospital while one was taken to a Denton hospital by ground ambulance, according to law enforcement on the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate.

SECONDARY CRASH – A person driving east on U.S. 380 witnessed the plane go down and crashed while trying to quickly pull off the road. 

A pickup that was eastbound on U.S. 380 also crashed after apparently seeing the plane go down. The driver appeared to try to pull off the road, but the truck crashed into a culvert, leaving the back end of the pickup sticking up in the air. One person from that vehicle was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Health System in Decatur, according to law enforcement.

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Wise County EMS, Runaway Bay Fire Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bridgeport Police Department, Runaway Bay Police Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden all responded to the crash to assist at the scene.


Fire and rescue crews are working a small plane crash near the Bridgeport Municipal Airport in Wise County.

The Texas Department of Public Safety tells NBC 5 that a Beech 35 Bonanza was approaching the airport to land when the aircraft clipped some trees and went down short of the runway. The two male occupants, ages 78 and 76, sustained undisclosed injuries and were flown to area hospitals.

The Wise County Messenger reports there have been two major vehicle accidents along U.S. 380 near the airport.

Two ambulances and a rescue squad have been sent to the scene and a helicopter ambulance has been placed on standby.


  1. no apparent skid marks, yet it appears low shrub like tree/bushes likely helped decelerate the V35.

  2. Plane probably spun around after ground contact so hard to tell which direction it arrived from.