Micron CEO Made Wrong Decision Before Fatal Plane Crash

Sep 9, 2014

Steve Appleton was the CEO of Micron Technology.
Credit Micron

Federal investigators say the likely causes of an airplane crash that killed Micron CEO Steve Appleton in 2012 are a reduction in engine power during takeoff and Appleton's ill-fated decision to turn around rather than make an emergency landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board in a report released Monday said fire damage made it impossible to know if the engine power reduction was mechanical or a decision by Appleton.

The report says Appleton shouldn't have attempted a second takeoff with a "known problem" after aborting an earlier takeoff minutes earlier.

The 51-year-old Appleton was the only person aboard the four-seat Lancair on Feb. 3, 2012, when it steeply banked, stalled and crashed near a Boise, Idaho, runway.

Investigators say some engine readings before the crash indicate a problem with the airplane.