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Preliminary report issued in crash that killed OSU coaches

The NTSB has issued a preliminary report on the plane crash that killed two Oklahoma State coaches, a former Oklahoma state senator and his wife. The plane crashed in the Ouachita National Forest, about 8 miles southeast of Perryville.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The NTSB has issued a preliminary report on the plane crash that killed two Oklahoma State coaches, a former Oklahoma state senator and his wife. The plane crashed in the Ouachita National Forest, about 8 miles southeast of Perryville.

The report states that the plane was seen on radar flying at 7,000 feet. The airplane then made a right turn and began descending before disappearing from radar. There were no reported air traffic control communications with the airplane and conditions were clear at the time of the crash.

According to the report, the impact scar on the ground indicated that the airplane was in a steep dive and the right wing hit the ground first. The crash left an impact crater about 10 feet in diameter and about 3.5 feet deep.

The plane was piloted by former Oklahoma state Sen. Olin Branstetter who was flying OSU head basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna to a recruiting visit. The 82-year-old senator and his wife, Paula, were killed in the crash along with the coaches.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jason Aguilar said previously that investigators are focusing on the pilot and the airframe, and possibly a loss of control. But he says there was no evidence that would question the pilot's qualifications to fly the plane.

The NTSB is examining the plane wreckage to try to determine the cause of the crash.

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