WEBB LAKE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities have moved the wreckage of a plane crash near here that killed two couples who were celebrating Valentine's Day to a hangar in Minneapolis.
The four-seat Piper Arrow 28-R plane was removed Friday under the supervision of Ed Malinowski, air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
Preliminary studies indicate the wings and engine were responding to the pilot before the crash. "Whatever the pilot was inputting from the cockpit went to the engine," Malinowski said.
A six-foot to eight-foot section of wing was found across the road from where the plane crashed Wednesday night. He said he expected to continue piecing the plane together this weekend.
Phil Mattison, president of Club Cherokee, the flying club that owned the plane, said it sounded like the airplane was working fine. He said the separated wing suggests the plane struck something before it hit the ground.
That fits the county sheriff department's description of the plane hitting tree branches, then nosing down through power lines before striking the ground.
Mattison's friends Joe and Julie Paar of Columbus Township and Steven and Jayne Dumas of West Lakeland Township flew to Voyager Village for dinner Wednesday night with another couple from the flying club.
The four traveled together in one plane, which crashed soon after takeoff within a mile of the private airstrip at the 1,000-acre resort.
Preliminary autopsy results released Friday indicate all four died of "massive, blunt-force trauma." Toxicology reports are pending.
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