Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Piper PA-28-161, N137AT: Fatal accident occurred February 05, 2021 at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (KMRB), Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Aircraft was parked and struck the pilot in the head. 

Date: 05-FEB-21
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N137AT
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 91

Dean Petix
1973 - 2021

Dean Petix, 47, was called home on February 17, 2021, having suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an equipment malfunction of his plane while on the ground at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport. 

Dean was born in New Haven, Connecticut on October 4, 1973 to Irene (Barnes) and William Petix of Mansfield Center, Connecticut. He was a graduate of E.O. Smith High School and the University of Connecticut. 

Dean was a computer prodigy who was employed by numerous organizations. He was loved and cherished as an only child and as a loving husband.

Dean was a very generous man with his family and his coworkers. His giving personality kept giving even in death as his organs were donated and saved the life of at least two recipients. He will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him. 

Dean leaves behind his wife of 25 years, Laura, daughter of Gene and Marlene Whaples formerly of Mansfield, Connecticut; his loving mother and father; numerous aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. A private service was held on March 21, 2021 at the Mansfield Center Cemetery where he was laid to rest. A zoom memorial service was held on April 10, 2021 in honor of Dean's life and many accomplishments.

MARTINSBURG, West Virginia  — A man was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, on February 5th after suffering a traumatic injury on the grounds of Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport, a Berkeley County Emergency Ambulance Authority official said.

The man, associated with a plane on the civilian side of the airport south of Martinsburg, was injured due to an equipment malfunction involving a plane on the ground, Field Operations Chief Chad Winebrenner said Saturday.

The injury was life-threatening, Winebrenner said.

The accident occurred around 4:30 to 5 p.m. Friday near a hangar.

The man was not an airport employee, Winebrenner said.


  1. This is beautiful. Thank you for posting. I was fortunate enough to know Dean and I miss him dearly.

  2. Dean was a wonderful man. I miss him every day.