A preliminary report from federal investigators says there was no evidence of mechanical problems in a deadly plane crash earlier this month in Duplin County.
Killed in the October 5th crash outside of Magnolia was 62-year-old Kenneth Hetzel of Yorkville, Illinois. His plane crashed into the woods, not far from a mobile home park.
The National Transportation Safety Board says there was no evidence of flight control, airframe or engine mechanical failure or malfunction prior to the crash.
The NTSB report says a witness told them he saw the experimental amateur-built airplane spinning out of the clouds, toward the ground. The witness told federal investigators that as the airplane "spun", its engine was making a sputtering noise. It was raining heavily at the time of the crash.
The report says Hetzel had a total of 270 flight hours in the cockpit, including 30 hours in the plane that crashed.