Reston pilot killed in Front Royal plane crash

piperPawnee towing plane ready to take off (photo © AdobeStock)

A Reston man, Steven B. Zaboji, 76, died Saturday when his single-engine airplane crashed shortly after take-off from the Front Royal Airport.

Virginia State Police Trooper S.R. Marks said Zaboji’s Piper Pawnee took off from the Front Royal Airport at approximately 1:35 p.m. with a glider in tow. After the glider safely disconnected, the Piper began experiencing problems and crashed onto private property in the 1700 block of Ridgeway Road near the airport. The impact of the crash caused the plane to catch fire.

Zaboji died at the scene.

The glider safely landed after the crash. No one on the ground was injured in the crash. the FAA and NTSB are investigating.

The Pawnee was built between 1959 and 1981 and was used primarily for agricultural spraying. It has also become popular as a tow plane, or tug, for launching gliders and for towing advertising banners. In 1988 the design rights and support responsibility were sold to Latino Americana de Aviación of Argentina, according to Wikipedia.




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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.