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Last updated: 23 October 2021
Date:Monday 18 December 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft 200 Super King Air
Operator:Western Airways Inc.
Registration: N231RL
MSN: BB-868
First flight: 1981
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Ingleside-McCampbell-Porter Airport, TX (IWS) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Illegal Flight
Departure airport:Houston-West Houston Airport, TX (IWS/KIWS), United States of America
Destination airport:Ingleside-McCampbell-Porter Airport, TX (KTFP), United States of America
A Beechcraft 200 Super King Air, N231RL, was substantially damaged, during takeoff near Ingleside, Texas. The commercial pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was stolen from the West Houston Airport at 16:00. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.
According to U.S. Customs officials, the operator's chief mechanic reported the aircraft stolen as soon as the airplane was broken into by the two occupants. A U.S. Customs airplane was vectored to intercept the stolen airplane. The owner of the airplane reported there was approximately 800 pounds of fuel aboard at the time the airplane was stolen.
The airplane was intercepted as it was landing at the Ingleside-McCampbell-Porter Airport, TX. The Customs aircraft landed and blocked the single 4,996 foot runway. While attempting to takeoff to evade law enforcement personnel, the airplane impacted a fence, crossed a ditch, and came to rest in a swamp.

The two occupants of the airplane jumped out and ran. The pilot's son was captured, but the pilot was not apprehended. The following items were found in the airplane: bolt cutters, 2 masks, loaded weapons, the pilot's wallet, and charts and maps indicating that the planned destination of the flight was near Cartagena, Colombia.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's improper decision, while evading law enforcement personnel during an illegal/unauthorized operation."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 187 days (6 months)
Accident number: FTW96LA074
Download report: Summary report



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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Houston-West Houston Airport, TX to Ingleside-McCampbell-Porter Airport, TX as the crow flies is 258 km (161 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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