July 26, Clear Spring, Md. / Beech Bonanza


At 1132 eastern time, a Beech S-35 struck terrain in cruise flight near Clear Spring, killing the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and a VFR flight plan was filed. The pilot departed about 1000 and then returned because he could not maintain VFR. At 1121 he departed a second time. At 1126 he requested flight following from Washington Center and said he could not maintain VFR. The Center controller suggested he return to his origination point of Hagerstown Airport and file IFR. A tower controller at Hagerstown briefly saw the airplane cruising at 1000 feet msl in an area where terrain was about 700 feet msl. Witnesses near the crash site reported rain and dense fog. The pilot, who reported more than 11,500 hours of flight time, had told the airplanes owner he would no longer fly at night or IFR.


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