LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — Officials released the initial report on the double fatal small plane crash at the Lincoln County Regional Airport.
Investigators checked the engine for any pre-impact failures or malfunctions as part of the report.
The report said investigators did not detect any mechanical problems with the plane prior to the crash.
Officials identified the two men killed when the small plane they were in crashed near the Lincoln County Airport in July.
The pilot was identified as 63-year-old Teddy Wayne Heavner and the passenger was 54-year-old Basil "Todd" Sain.
Family members who spoke with Channel 9 after the crash in July said the pair were the best of friends.
"Just the laughter," brother-in-law Steve Warren said. "Just kidding and joking, just all the time."
"It is so tragic but they were so excited to go. They were playing golf today and an air show tomorrow. Just the best of friends, they all had friends everywhere," another family member said.
Both men were from Lincolnton.
Police and firefighters responded to the scene of the crash near the airport, between Denver and Lincolnton, off Highway 73.
Authorities said the single-engine plane crashed in a field and that Heavner and Sain were they only people onboard.
Family members told Eyewitness News that the plane had just taken off from the airport and was headed to an air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin when it crashed.
Those family members also told Eyewitness News that the same plane had reported issues in August of last year after having to make an emergency landing in Alexander County and that Heavner only just got the plane back in the last two weeks.
Officials told Channel 9 that they received a 911 call from a neighbor who said he heard the plane crash.
Channel 9 could see the plane broken into pieces in a field about 300 yards from the runway.
State troopers said they responded to secure the scene for the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials with the FAA told Channel 9 that the aircraft was a Piper PA-32.
Meteorologist Keith Monday said it was not raining in the area at the time of the crash but that visibility was down to about a mile due to low clouds and fog.
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Cox Media Group