Monday, November 01, 2021

Beechcraft P35 Bonanza, N8625M: Fatal accident occurred October 31, 2021 in Harrison, Sioux County, Nebraska

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Auto & Bike Shop Inc

Location: Harrison, Nebraska
Accident Number: CEN22FA023
Date and Time: October 31, 2021, 13:34 Local
Registration: N8625M
Aircraft: Beech P35 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On October 31, 2021, about 1334 mountain daylight time (MDT), a Beech P35 Bonanza airplane, N8625M, was substantially damaged with it was involved in an accident near Harrison, Nebraska. The pilot, passenger, and a dog were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane departed Marion, Ohio (MNN), about 0800 EDT and stopped for fuel at Marshalltown, IA (MIW). The airplane departed about 1104 central daylight time (CDT) and was en route to Douglas, WY (DGW), with a cruise altitude from 4,400 ft to 5,300 ft msl.

A witness reported that while flying his airplane 15 miles south of Valentine, Nebraska, about

1315 to 1330 CDT, he observed a white V-tail Bonanza with red stripes. He stated that the airplane was headed west and passed above him about 5,000 ft msl. He was aware of two active AIRMETs for icing conditions to the west and southwest of his location, and he tried to radio the Bonanza pilot to warn him of the icing conditions, but he did not receive a response. At 6,500 ft msl, the outside air temperature was 28° F where he had previously encountered trace to light icing before he had descended to 4,500 ft msl where the temperature was 38° F.

A witness, who was located southeast of Crawford, Nebraska, and 10 miles south of the accident airplane’s flight path, stated that he heard a low flying airplane between 1330 and 1400 MDT. The weather conditions included an overcast cloud layer about 200 ft above ground level (agl), one mile of visibility, and “heavy freezing drizzle with ice particles.”

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that at 13:33.18 MDT the airplane was at 5,275 ft msl and descended toward rising terrain. From 13:33.30 to 13:33.37 the airplane was about the same altitude as the terrain, then began a climb to 5,500 ft msl (320 ft agl). The final data point was recorded at 13:33.52 at 5,400 ft msl (250 ft agl) and 150 knots groundspeed. Figure 1 shows the end of the accident flight path. 

The accident site was defined by an initial impact crater and a debris field about 700 ft long.  Figure 2 shows the final locations of the airplane, engine, and propeller within the debris field.

The initial impact elevation was 5,160 ft msl and the airplane came to rest at 5,140 ft msl.

The pilot had filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan for the first leg from MNN to MIW and was in contact with air traffic control (ATC). There was not a flight plan filed for the second leg from MIW to DGW. After departure from MIW there was no indication that the pilot was in contact with ATC and the airplane’s transponder code was set to 1200, a standard code for visual flight rules (VFR).

Preliminary meteorological information showed that near the accident site, the freezing level was at the surface, there was a broken cloud ceiling about 600 ft agl, with an overcast ceiling at 800 ft and cloud tops near 11,000 ft msl. There was potential for light-to-moderate clear icing below 5,500 ft msl, and light rime ice from 5,700 through 10,000 ft msl. The National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center (NWS AWC) issued AIRMETs Sierra for IFR and mountain obscuration conditions immediately south and west of the accident site, and an AIRMET Zulu for icing conditions over the accident site. The AWC surface forecast expected an area of snow showers and mixed precipitation over western Nebraska with a Graphical-AIRMET for mountain obscuration over western Nebraska, Wyoming, and northeast Colorado. The cloud forecast expected overcast clouds with bases at 5,000 ft msl with tops to 16,000 ft. A Graphical-AIRMET for icing conditions was also depicted over the region.The airplane has been retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N8625M
Model/Series: P35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGUR,4936 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:23 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 61 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 60°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 8 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Marshalltown, IA (KMIW)
Destination: Douglas, WY (KDGW)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.791395,-104.00842 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Donald Melvin and Lucinda Mae (Huson) Sutphin

Donald Melvin and Lucinda Mae (Huson) Sutphin, married for fifty-three years, died together with their dog Gus on Sunday, October 31, 2021, in a plane crash near Harrison, Nebraska. Life-long residents of Wyoming, Don and Cindy are remembered as beloved school teachers and as owners of The Auto & Bike Shop in Douglas, Wyoming, where they raised their daughters and continued to reside. They are highly esteemed in the community by friends, students, neighbors, and business patrons. The Sutphins were snowbirds and enjoyed their winter home and many friends in Maricopa, Arizona for the last thirteen years. 

Don was born in Casper, Wyoming, on Tuesday, September 28, 1948 the son of Melvin Leon and Henrietta Helen (Stuka) Sutphin. He was in the first graduating class of Kelly Walsh High School. He was a star basketball player, went on to play in college, and eventually coach. He taught biology and chemistry for more than 40 years in Douglas. His students and players remember his humor and enthusiasm. Don may be best known for all of his hobbies, including restoring classic cars, building and riding motorcycles, and his obsession of sports. He was also an accomplished pilot and was a certified ground school and flight instructor. He served on the Converse County Airport Board and the Casper College Alumni Board.

Cindy was born in Newcastle, Wyoming, on Wednesday, October 5, 1949, the daughter of Harry M. and Vera L. (Dabney) Huson, and was the middle of three girls. She enjoyed cheerleading in high school and she taught at a rural elementary school near Douglas prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, which was her favorite job in the world. She worked in the choir department in the high school for a time after their daughters left home, and she kept the books and helped manage the auto shop. Cindy’s very favorite place was a family cabin in the Bighorn Mountains. She loved shopping and reading, and embraced all of Don’s many hobbies.

Don and Cindy were high school sweethearts and both graduated from the University of Wyoming. They were married in Casper on October 19, 1968. They loved their children and grandchildren more than anything, and many of their activities and hobbies revolved around their family life. Over the years, they travelled around the state and beyond for golf and cross-country events, volleyball and basketball tournaments, track meets, and to take their daughters hiking, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, and boating. Don and Cindy shared a love for riding motorcycles and they rode thousands of miles together and with friends, including many trips to Sturgis. Together they enjoyed travelling, caring for their Shih Tzu dogs, movies and concerts, and attending car shows. Don and Cindy loved visiting their grandchildren in Ohio, escaping to the family cabin in the Bighorns, drinking coffee by the palm trees, and cooking and serving food at the Wyoming State Fair.

Don and Cindy are survived by their daughter, Mandy (Wes) Roberts of Morral, Ohio, and their dearly loved grandchildren Jack, Lola and Katie Roberts. They are also survived by Cindy’s father, Harry Huson, and her sisters, Marsha (Jim) Milek and Karen Kastner. 

Don and Cindy were preceded in death by their children Donnie, Jimmy, and Angie Sutphin; granddaughter, Amelia Roberts; and parents, Vera Huson and Melvin and Henrietta Sutphin.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at the Congregational United Church of Christ, 405 North Sixth Street, Douglas, Wyoming at 2:00 P.M. with Reverend Todd Weber officiating.

Donations can be made to the Don & Cindy Sutphin Memorial account at Converse County Bank, P.O. Box 689, Douglas, Wyoming, 82633 or to the charity of your choice.

The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the two people killed in the crash Sunday afternoon of a single-engine airplane near Harrison were a couple from Douglas, Wyoming.

Don and Cindy Sutphin, retired teachers, were returning home from visiting family in Ohio when their Beechcraft P35 Bonanza went down about 5 miles north of Harrison around 2:00 PM Sunday.  

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss says a preliminary crash report will probably be out within 2 weeks of the accident and may offer insights into the cause, but a formal finding won’t be made until the final report is released – which normally takes 12 to 24 months.

Don and Cindy Sutphin taught at Douglas High School for many years and also owned a business in Douglas, the Auto and Bike Show. 

Don Sutphin was an accomplished pilot and former member of the Converse County Airport Board. Friends said he purchased the Beechcraft P35 Bonanza recently and had made one long flight before the trip to Ohio.


  1. Aviation in general is very unforgiving to poor decision making. My condolences to the family. Although the end result of the search did not end like we would have wanted it to, at least there was some closure fairly quickly.

    1. "what where [sic] the circumstances? weather?

      It clearly indicates unknown at this time.

    2. [Approximately 25 nautical miles east of Harrison]
      SPECI KCDR 311445Z AUTO 04007KT 1 3/4SM -SN BR FEW006 BKN017 OVC024 00/M02 A3038 RMK AO2 SNB45
      SPECI KCDR 311440Z AUTO 04007KT 4SM BR FEW006 BKN017 OVC022 00/M02 A3038
      METAR KCDR 311353Z AUTO 04009KT 9SM BKN028 OVC039 01/M03 A3035

    3. That metar is not from the correct time

  2. Pretty rough weather. 1-3/4 visibility, snow, clouds at 600 and so on. Was it VFR or on an approach?

    1. If those were the conditions it wouldn't matter - in the soup + freezing weather in an aircraft without FIKI capabilities.

    2. No, those were not the conditions. The 1440Z METARs are several hours off from the accident time of 20:00:00Z.

      A person's mistake posting weather from six hours before the crash is misleading you. STOP!

  3. If I’m not mistaken, the correct metar for 2 pm MDT should be this, which was at 1953z time
    KCDR 311953Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM OVC042 02/M04 A3033 RMK AO2 SLP299 T00221044

  4. They had three children and a grandchild precede them in death. How terrible.

    1. Isn’t that terrible?? Their daughter Angie Sutphin died at age 32 in 2013. Not sure what the cause was.


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