Malfunction ruled out in 2009 S. Ore. plane crash

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ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) -- Federal investigators say they've ruled out mechanical failure in the crash two years ago of a small aircraft near Canyonville, and it appears pilot error may have led to the accident that killed a couple.

The Roseburg News-Review reports (http://bit.ly/uGebxi) the National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report Dec. 21, and a final report is expected next year.

The board's preliminary report says there was no evidence of a malfunction in the 1955 Piper Tri-Pacer.

The victims were Ernie and Elaina Knigge (kuh-NIG-ee). Both were 70.

They crashed into Canyon Mountain on August 2009 on a planned flight from a private airstrip southwest of Roseburg to Grants Pass.

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Information from: The News-Review, http://www.nrtoday.com