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Published July 09, 2010, 08:48 AM

Witnesses describe engine trouble in plane crash

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — Several witnesses tell federal officials that a small plane was having engine trouble before it crashed in central Pennsylvania, killing three people.

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — Several witnesses tell federal officials that a small plane was having engine trouble before it crashed in central Pennsylvania, killing three people.

A preliminary report released Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says witnesses heard coughing and sputtering sounds before the fatal June 21 crash in Lock Haven.

Some witnesses described the plane as struggling to maintain altitude or flying lower than normal.

The plane had been chartered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for an aerial pest detection survey.

The two Forest Service workers on board and the pilot were killed when the plane went down as it approached William Piper Memorial Airport.

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