Pilot dead in Front Royal plane crash

(PHOTO: MGN Online)

WARREN COUNTY, Va. — A pilot is dead after his Piper Pawnee crashed after takeoff near Front Royal Airport around 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Steven Zaboji, 76, was from Reston. He was flying his Pawnee, an agricultural plane that can also be used for launching gliders or towing banners, with a glider in tow.

After the glider safely disconnected, the Piper “began experiencing problems”, said Virginia State Police, and crashed onto a property in the 1700 block of Ridgeway Road near the airport. The plane caught fire, and Zaboji died at the scene.

No one on the ground was injured. The FAA and NTSB will head to the scene to investigate Sunday.