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No mechanical issues found before CEO's crash

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm •  Published: August 14, 2014
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal investigators say they found no evidence of any mechanical malfunctions in an experimental airplane before a 2012 crash that killed Micron CEO Steve Appleton.

The National Transportation Safety Board also reported Tuesday that Appleton didn't take specialized training before crashing while taking off from the airport in Boise, where Micron is based.

"No evidence was found indicating that the pilot had received flight instruction in the accident airplane or in any other Lancair IV-TP," the report said.

The agency's report doesn't say what caused the fatal crash. It was unclear when the agency will release a final probable cause report.

Micron spokesman Dan Francisco said Thursday the company had no comment on the NTSB report.

The four-seat Lancair was built in 2007. Appleton, 51, was the only person aboard when it steeply banked, stalled and crashed near a Boise runway on its second takeoff attempt. The engine, engine accessories and three aircraft recorders were recovered for analysis.

The report noted that Appleton had flown in the airplane previously, making two roundtrips between Boise and Sandpoint in northern Idaho, and roundtrips from Boise to Richland, Washington, and to Bullhead City, Arizona.

Appleton started working at Micron in 1983 and became CEO and chairman of the memory chip maker in 2007. He had a reputation as a hard-driving daredevil and was known for taking risks in stunt piloting. He survived a crash in 2004 that left him with a punctured lung, head injuries, ruptured disk and broken bones.

Micron colleagues said his energy and drive helped establish the Idaho company's place on the world stage as one of the leaders in memory chip production.

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