Friday, March 05, 2021

Beechcraft C23 Sundowner 180, N67013: Fatal accident occurred March 04, 2021 near Krens Farm Airport (14VA), Hillsboro, Loudoun County, Virginia

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Washington, District of Columbia

Del Ag Aero LLC

Location: Purcellville, VA
Accident Number: ERA21FA148
Date & Time: March 4, 2021, 15:10 Local 
Registration: N67013
Aircraft: Beech C23 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 4, 2021, about 1510 eastern standard time, a Beech C-23, N67013, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Purcellville, Virginia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a witness, she heard the airplane take off from runway 19 at Krens Farm Airport (14VA), Hillsboro, Virginia, and looked back to watch it depart. When she saw the airplane, it was “tilted to the left” as it descended into the trees. She heard the engine the entire time and stated that it made “traditional engine noises.” In addition, she noted that relative to the airplane’s takeoff direction, a tailwind prevailed at the time of the accident.

The airplane struck several trees and came to rest in a heavily wooded area about 600 ft from the departure end of runway 19 at an elevation of about 690 ft mean sea level. There was no post impact fire and an odor of 100LL aviation fuel was noted at the site. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage.

The left wing was impact-separated at the wing root and located about 40 ft prior to the main wreckage. The outboard approximate 5 ft leading edge of the left wing was impact-damaged and crushed aft. The rudder was impact separated from the vertical stabilizer and the vertical stabilizer was impact-separated from the empennage and located about 20 ft prior to the main wreckage. The leading edge of the vertical stabilizer exhibited impact damage. The horizontal stabilator remained attached to the empennage. The right wing was impact-separated and remained attached to the fuselage through cables. Flight control continuity was established to all flight control surfaces from the flight controls in the cockpit.

The engine was removed from the airframe for further examination. Crankshaft and valvetrain continuity were confirmed by rotating the propeller hub by hand. Thumb compression and suction were observed on all cylinders. The spark plugs were removed and examined. The Nos. 2 and 4 spark plugs were oil soaked. All other spark plugs were light gray in color and in new condition. Spark was observed on all towers of the left and right magneto when the input shaft was rotated. There were no anomalies noted with the engine that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

The fixed-pitch propeller remained attached to the engine. Both propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub. One blade was bent aft about 45° and exhibited leading edge gouging and chordwise scratching. The other propeller blade was bent slightly aft and exhibited chordwise scratching, leading edge gouging, and tip tearing. 

The 1455 recorded weather observation at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia, located about 13 miles southeast of the accident location, included wind from 310° at 24 knots gusting to 29 knots.

14VA was located 2 miles northwest of Hillsboro, Virginia. It had one runway designated as 01/19, which was 1,900 ft-long by 50 ft-wide. The elevation at the approach end of runway 19 was 749 ft. The highest point on the runway was 756 ft, 400 ft from the runway threshold. The elevation at the departure end of runway 19 was 690 ft. The airport was equipped with two windsocks: one about 500 ft from the departure end of runway 19 and one past the departure end of runway 19.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N67013
Model/Series: C23 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: JYO,389 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 24 knots / 29 knots, 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Purcellville, VA
Destination: Weyers Cave, VA (SHD)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude:  39.23045,-77.74829 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

William F. Krens
March 3, 1944 - March 4, 2021

William (Bill) F. Krens, 77, of Hillsboro, VA. passed away Thursday afternoon, March 4, 2021. He was the son of late Frank and Olive Krens of Summerhill, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Janet Krens, and his sons Mike and Rick, their wives Liz and Brenda, and three grandchildren Alexandra, Griffin, and Morgan.

Bill grew up on a dairy farm and was one of nine children. His siblings include, Jean, Frank, Connie, Ron, Sally, Betty, Charlie and Dessa. Bill and Janet moved to Hillsboro, Virginia in 1971 to setup their own farm and raise their family. The farm primarily raised cattle and crops such as corn and hay. Also in 1970, he began his career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Air Traffic Controller at the Washington Center in Leesburg, VA. Retiring in January 2002 after 32 years of service, he continued as a trainer for a number of years and cherished the friendships he made during his long career.

Bill was a smart, resourceful, easygoing man, with a mostly pragmatic yet generous heart and a wry sense of humor. His interests included travel, classic aircraft, classic cars, old tractors as well as working with various machinery. His travels took him on 35 different cruises across the world. Bill was also active in the Hillsboro United Methodist Church, serving as a trustee for many years and volunteering with Mobile Hope. He was also active in a local car club Cam Jammers, a member of various aviation related groups and enjoyed restoring and showing classic 1950s cars.

Bill's love of airplanes began in childhood as his father Frank was also a private pilot and airplane enthusiast. In 1969 Bill, purchased his first plane and established the Krens Farm Airport, a grass strip on his farm in Hillsboro. Over 57 years as a pilot, he owned Piper Tri-Pacers, several Navions, a Cessna Cardinal, Beechcraft Sundowners, Beechcraft Musketeers and two Beechcraft Twin Bonanzas otherwise known as T-bones. Taking his planes on cross-country trips he flew to most of the United States with trips to California, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, and Massachusetts.

A memorial service is in the planning stages for later in the year. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to the Hillsboro United Methodist Church, 37216 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro, Virginia 20132.

A 77-year-old Hillsboro man was killed Thursday afternoon when his single-engine plane crashed in a wooded area of western Loudoun County, according to Virginia State Police.
Police were notified of the crash at 3:09 p.m. on Thursday, March 4. Officers responded to the 35000 block of Charlestowne Pike in the western Loudoun County community of Hillsboro, where they found the downed plane with a single occupant, according to Corinne Geller, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.
The Beechcraft C23 Sundowner 180 aircraft had taken off just moments before from a nearby private airstrip, Geller said in a news release.
The pilot and only occupant of the aircraft, William Krens, 77, of Hillsboro, Virginia, died at the scene, Geller said.
Both the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Geller said.

The Virginia State Police have confirmed the identity of the pilot who died in a March 4 plane crash near Hillsboro.

William Krens, 77, was a veteran pilot and the owner/manager of the Krens Farm Airport, a private airstrip on the family’s property along Rt. 9 west of Hillsboro.

The crash happened just after 3 p.m. Thursday.

Virginia State Police and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and located the Beechcraft C23 Sundowner aircraft in a wooded area of a field. 

Krens was the only occupant of the plane and died at the scene.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

1 comment:

  1. Condolences to all. Did not know Bill, but live close by. Rest well, sir.