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NTSB: Pilot had engine problems before fatal grain bin crash

The Cessna 172 With Smoke Coming From The Engine Heading Down.

BUTLER, Mo. – Authorities say a pilot killed when his small plane crashed into a western Missouri grain bin had experienced engine problems.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in its preliminary report that 80-year-old John McConnell Jr.’s right engine became stuck at full power as he descended toward an airport in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe, Kansas. He told air traffic controllers that he was turning off the engine and changed his destination to a closer airport in Butler, which is about 55 miles (89 kilometers) north of Kansas City.

McConnell then warned “she’s going down” and advised that he would attempt to land on a highway. He was the only person aboard the eight-seat Cessna 425 when it hit the grain bin. The flight began in Vero Beach, Florida.

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