ADIZ Twist in PA-46 Crash

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Pilot chat rooms are lighting up with speculation over the involvement of an apparent ADIZ violation in the crash of a Piper PA-46 near Tipton Airport in Maryland that killed two people last Thursday. The airplane appears to be a JetProp conversion, although the FAA registry lists it as a piston-powered Malibu. So far, the authorities are only saying that the aircraft, owned by Daniel L. Eberhardt, the CEO of a plastic recycling company in Illinois, crashed shortly after takeoff and burned in a wooded area near the airport. However, the recording of an exchange between the pilot of the aircraft and air traffic control indicates the aircraft had been ordered to land "immediately" after allegedly violating the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Tipton has a 3,000-foot runway that was once an army airfield. It is well within the ADIZ and is bordered by part of Fort Meade, the National Security Agency and a wildlife refuge. The federal government closed the airport in 1995 but it was transferred to local authorities and reopened in 1999. According to The Baltimore Sun, the airport has become a popular GA destination for people doing business in the Washington area.