WATERFORD TWP. (WWJ/AP) - Federal investigators say they haven't found any sign of equipment problems on a small plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from a local airport, killing all four people aboard.
The crash happened Friday at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township.
Killed in the wreck was Troy Brothers, a U.S. Naval Academy recruit who received his pilot's license last month, his 58-year-old stepfather James Haley, and 34-year-old brother-in-law Jamie Jose. Brothers' 53-year-old mother, Sandra Haley died at an area hospital.
A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report found no signs of equipment problems with the single-engine Cessna 172. The report "revealed no evidence of pre-impact airframe, powerplant, or propeller malfunction or failure." Investigators determined that weather conditions were also not a factor.
The agency has said it plans to examine video of the crash taken by a security camera.
Brothers and his family took off about 1:40 p.m. and had elevated only about 100 feet from the ground when the young pilot radioed the control tower.
In a recording on LiveATC.Net, Brothers can be heard saying "we're a little over weight … we're going to have to come back and land." Moments later the four-seat plane crashed in a field near an airport runway.
LiveATC.Net provides live air traffic-control broadcasts from control towers and radar facilities around the world, according to its website.
Brothers and the Haleys lived in the Detroit suburb of Fraser. Brothers had been accepted into the Naval Academy's 2017 graduating class, said Judy Campbell, a spokeswoman for the military academy in Annapolis, Md. His induction day was to be Thursday.
The Oakland County airport is used for corporate, business and private flying, said Dave VanderVeen, director of central services for Oakland County. It also has air charters and air freight, and is the state's second busiest airport after Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
VanderVeen said the last fatal crash at Oakland County International was in 2006. A flight instructor and his student were killed when a single-engine plane belonging to a flight school crashed at the airport.
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