ADIZ Violation Warning Preceded Crash
On the ATC recording, which was obtained from LiveATC.net, a pilot using the registration number (N9130N) of the accident airplane asks for an in-flight IFR clearance. The controller responds by asking the pilot if his transponder is set to 1200, to which the pilot replies in the affirmative. "You're violating the ADIZ, you need to land at Tipton immediately," the controller says. All aircraft operating in the ADIZ are required to transmit a discrete transponder code, which is obtained either before takeoff or when getting clearance into the zone. Under the FAA's zero-tolerance policy for ADIZ violations, the pilot was facing disciplinary action of some sort for the error but the controller offered some hope that all that unpleasantness might be avoided. The detailed investigation of the accident is almost certain to probe whether the pilot, in reaching for that dangled carrot, lost control of the aircraft.
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.