NTSB Issues Report on Austin Suicide Plane Crash

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    AP/Steve Mulanax
    In this photo provided by Steve Mulanax, smoke billows from a seven-story building after a small private plane crashed into the building in Austin, Feb. 18.

    A preliminary federal report shows nothing remarkable in the moments before a pilot's Feb. 18 suicide dive into an Austin Internal Revenue Service office.

    The National Transportation Safety Board report Monday on the crash that killed pilot Joseph Stack and IRS worker Vernon Hunter begins the small, single-engine plane's takeoff from Georgetown Municipal Airport at 9:44 a.m.

    The NTSB says air traffic control communications and radar data show the plane flew south, climbing to 4,800 feet. The last radio contact came when a controller approved a radio frequency change, which Stack acknowledged by saying, "Thanks for your help. Have a great day."

    At 9:54 a.m., radar tracked the aircraft descending from 4,800 feet and turning west. At 9:57 a.m., the last radar contact showed the plane flying southwest at 1,000 feet before disappearing.

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    The aircraft was destroyed on impact into the office building. The NTSB says the FBI has taken over the investigation.

    More: NTSB Preliminary Information

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