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Last updated: 1 December 2021
Date:Tuesday 26 October 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft 300/F Super King Air
Operator:Federal Aviation Administration - FAA
Registration: N82
MSN: FF-17
First flight: 1988
Total airframe hrs:3353
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Front Royal, VA (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 540 m (1772 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Winchester Regional Airport, VA (KOKV), United States of America
Destination airport:Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, VA (PHF/KPHF), United States of America
The Beech Super King Air 300/F, owned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and operated by the Atlantic City (ACY), New Jersey, Flight Inspection Area Office (FIAO), was destroyed when it crashed into mountainous terrain near Front Royal, Virginia. The three flight crewmembers aboard received fatal injuries.
The airplane had departed the nearby Winchester Regional Airport in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) on a routine point-to-point flight to Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF), Virginia after conducting a flight inspection of the ILS at Winchester Regional Airport.
Witnesses described low clouds that were consistent with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) in the area of the accident site, which was about 15 miles south of the departure airfield. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan to PHF was on file in the air traffic control (ATC) system, but the flight plan had not yet been activated.
The airplane was flying at 2,000 feet until it struck the high terrain near the Linden VOR, while the pilot in command was awaiting an IFR clearance.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: The failure of the pilot-in-command to ensure that the airplane remained in visual meteorological conditions over mountainous terrain, and the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration executives and managers responsible for the FAA flying program to:
1) establish effective and accountable leadership and oversight of flying operations;
2) establish minimum mission and operational performance standards;
3) recognize and address performance-related problems among the organization's pilots; and
4) remove from flight operations duty pilots who were not performing to standards.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 168 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-94/03
Download report: Final report

VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 16 Safety Recommendations

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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Winchester Regional Airport, VA to Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, VA as the crow flies is 264 km (165 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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