Friday, January 15, 2016

Piper PA-22-108, N4751Z: Fatal accident occurred January 15, 2016 in Garden City, Glasscock County, Texas 

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA087 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 14, 2016 in Garden City, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22-108, registration: N4751Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 14, 2016, at 1609 central standard time a Piper PA22-108 airplane, N4751Z, impacted terrain near Garden City, Texas. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane's registration was suspended and it was operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane departed from the Midland Airpark (MDD), Midland, Texas, about 1545 and was en route to the Edwards Lucian Wells Ranch Airport, (TX31), Big Spring, Texas. 

An employee of the pilot stated that the pilot intended to fly from MDD to TX31 to show the airplane to a friend. He reported that the pilot left the shop about 1400 and went to the airport. 

A witness at the airport who spoke with the pilot prior to departure stated that the pilot was flying the airplane to TX31 to meet with a friend. The witness saw the pilot start the engine about 1530, but did not see the pilot depart. 

The accident site was located about 8 miles southwest of TX31 and about 4 miles south of expected route of flight. The main wreckage came to rest in an area of mostly flat terrain with mesquite trees and shrubs. The propeller was found embedded in the west side of a large dirt pile, which was next to a small open-pit mine. The debris field and main wreckage were located to the east of the dirt pile. The debris field was about 100 yards long. 

At 1615, the automated weather observation station, located at the Big Spring McMahon-Wrinkle Airport (BPG), Big Spring, Texas, and about 16 miles northeast of the accident site, recorded wind from 230 at 15 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 63° F, dew point 23° F, altimeter setting 29.74 inches of mercury.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Lubbock FSDO-13

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

GLASSCOCK COUNTY- Former Midland County Sheriff Dallas Smith's body was found after a plane he was flying crashed 11 miles north of highway 158 in Glasscock County Friday.

Preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration confirms it was a single-engine Piper PA-22 which was reported missing Friday by a friend or relative.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter tells CBS 7 that Smith was flying the single engine plane and disappeared.

According to the FAA, the aircraft departed the MIdland Airpark Thursday with Big Spring as its destination.

"FAA investigators are on their way to the crash site, and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation," said FAA Spokesperson Lynn Lunsford.

Aircraft was sent up to search for him and late Friday the wreckage was found in Glasscock County.

Smith was Sheriff in Midland County from 1977 though 1984.

"This is a very sad thing. He brought the SO into the 20th century. He modernized it and began an era of progressiveness in the county," said one viewer on Facebook.

He also worked for the Department of Public Safety.

Glassock County Sheriff Keith Burnett told CBS 7 that Smith's body has been sent to Lubbock for an autopsy.

The aircraft tail number is N4751Z. According to FAA data obtained by CBS7, the plane was just registered in December and its registration status is still pending.

Photos courtesy Glasscock County.

Original article can be found here:

Dallas Smith 

The wreckage of a small single-engine aircraft was found Friday afternoon, and while the Federal Aviation Administration couldn’t confirm the identity of the pilot, Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said it was former Midland County Sheriff Dallas Smith.

The aircraft -- carrying just the pilot -- was reported missing Friday, according to the FAA. The aircraft was reportedly on a flight from Midland Airpark to Big Spring on Thursday.

“Somewhere along the way, we don’t know when or exactly what happened, the aircraft crashed,” according to FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford.

Painter told the Reporter-Telegram that Smith was the pilot and did not survive the crash.

“He was flying a single-engine aircraft to be looked at by a rancher in Glasscock County and failed to arrive and failed to contact his wife,” Painter said in an email.

A Department of Public Safety helicopter found the wreckage in a caliche pit about 15 miles south of Garden City with the body of Smith, Painter said.

The tail number of the plane was 4751Z, according to officials.  


GLASSCOCK COUNTY, TX (KWES) -  Former Midland County Sheriff Dallas Smith was found dead on Friday following a plane crash in Glasscock County.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said Smith's body was found with the wreckage around 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

It was found in a caliche pit about 15 miles south of Garden City.

Painter tells NewsWest 9 that Smith flew out on Thursday in a single engine plane.

He was flying to a ranch in Glasscock County that he was looking to purchase.

Authorities started looking for Smith after his family couldn't reach him.

The FAA and NTSB will be going to the crash site to investigate.

Smith was the Sheriff of Midland County from 1977 to 1984.


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