Pilot killed when plane crashes near airport

Warren County Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie, left, speaks with Capt. Wayne Dodson, right, near the scene of a plane crash close to the Front Royal-Warren County Airport on Saturday. The plane’s pilot was killed in the crash. Rich Cooley/Daily

A Reston man died Saturday when the small plane he was piloting crashed near the Front Royal-Warren County Airport on Saturday afternoon.

Virginia State Police responded to the crash at 1:39 p.m. in the 1700 block of Ridgeway Road in Front Royal, according to Corinne Geller, state police public relations director.

In a news release, Geller stated that the private aircraft crashed and then caught fire. The pilot, Steven B. Zaboji, 76, died at the scene.

“The Piper Pawnee took off from the Front Royal Airport at approximately 1:35 p.m., Saturday (Oct. 7), with a glider in tow,” Geller stated. “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.”

The glider landed safely and no one else was injured, Geller stated.

The crash is under investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were notified.