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.