Federal investigators say a pilot and three passengers who took off from Sioux Falls apparently tried to return to the airport after an air traffic controller noticed a plume of smoke coming from the plane that later crashed, killing all four people aboard.
A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report released Monday recounts details moments before the Dec. 9 crash that officials had not earlier released.
The report says the controller informed the pilot about the smoke plume about 30 seconds after takeoff, though he could not determine where it was coming from. The controller then advised the pilot that the smoke had stopped and cleared the plane to land. No communications were received from the pilot after he acknowledged the takeoff clearance.
The report makes no recommendations or conclusions.