Take for example this sentence.
"There was a plane crash last night. 20 passengers on board"
(Were is omitted after passengers).
I am struggling to find that when should we use "linking verbs" or not. Please help me.
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You wouldn't do this at all in good writing. "20 passengers on board" is not a complete sentence. In addition, there are not many style guides that would say it's okay to start a sentence with a numeral; they would say to spell out "twenty" at the beginning of a sentence. To make this good writing, you'd need to rephrase it. Something like, "A plane crashed last night with 20 passengers on board." If you want to know when you should do it in bad writing, I guess you have to make it up as you go along.