Report Released On Plane Crash In Western N.C.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation and Safety Board says that mechanical failure and limited visibility caused the plane crash that killed three men in rural western North Carolina.

The single-engine Cessna 182 departed around 9:30 a-m on May fourth from Dublin, Georgia. It disappeared from radar around 11 a-m about one and a half miles from Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina, where it was headed.

The report says that James V- Hilburn, the pilot, tried to comply with the instructions he was given by the Asheville airport as he was cleared for landing. But he told the tower that his directional gyro -- which tells the pilot in which direction the plane is going -- as "messed up."

As he was trying to turn and climb higher as instructed, Hilburn told controllers that his attitude indicator also wasn't working. The instrument tells a pilot the position of the nose and wings of the plane as well as the turns. Less than two minutes after the failure was reported, the controller lost radar and radio contact with the plane.