The Federal Aviation Authority reported that weather conditions were good at midnight Sunday when the plane took off. They suspect mechanical problems may have caused the plane crash, as the pilot was attempting an emergency landing when it slammed into an open area near the Alpine Casparis airport.
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The plane is registered to the O'Hara Flying Service II LP. This is not the first incident involving one of their aircraft: In 2009 a similar plane experienced right engine failure and was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off from the same airport. The pilot, the only person on board, suffered minor injuries.
The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.