No mechanical issues found in small plane crash in Arkansas

FRANKLIN, Ark. (AP) — Federal officials found no mechanical problems in a small plane crash that killed a flight instructor and a student pilot last month in rural northeast Arkansas, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board report said the Piper PA-38-112 crashed into trees and the ground on Nov. 30 near Franklin, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.

Gary Dickerson, Izard County’s emergency management director, has said residents called 911 to report a small airplane flying low in Franklin.

The NTSB said that after the two-seat aircraft received clearance to land at the airport in Walnut Ridge, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Franklin, radar contact and voice communications were lost.

The plane made several turns during the last 5 1/2 minutes of the flight, the NTSB said.

The plane had taken off from an airport in Lonoke, just east of Little Rock.

Local authorities identified the men who died in the crash as David Rottman, 70, of Lonoke, and Lucas Parker, 44, of Conway. Rottman was the owner of Arkansas Pilot Development in Lonoke.

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