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Preliminary Report In Santa Monica Airport Crash Offers No Clues

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A preliminary investigative report on last month's private jet accident at Santa Monica Airport provides no indication of why the aircraft crashed into a hangar, killing the pilot and three passengers.

The National Transportation Safety Board report dated Tuesday says witnesses to the Sept. 29 accident observed the twin-engine Cessna 525A make a normal approach and landing after a flight from Hailey, Idaho.

The airplane traveled down the right side of the runway, eventually veered off to the right, hit a sign indicating 1,000 feet of runway remained and continued its right turn until it hit a hangar and burned.

The report says there was no airplane debris on the runway and the three landing gear tires were inflated and had no unusual wear.

The crash occurred at 6:20 p.m., killing 28-year-old Lucas Benjamin, his father, 63-year-old Mark Benjamin, 28-year-old Laura Winkler and 53-year-old Kyla Dupont. The elder Benjamin, president of Santa Monica-based Morley Builders, is believed to have been at the controls.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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