- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2011

EAST PALO ALTO, CALIF. (AP) - Federal investigators say pilot error was likely the cause of a small California plane crash that killed three employees of electric car upstart Tesla Motors Inc.

A National Transportation Safety Board report says pilot Doug Bourn failed to heed control tower warnings about heavy fog.

His twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed into a 60-foot electric tower and power lines on Feb. 17, 2010, in East Palo Alto shortly after taking off. A previous NTSB report found that the plane’s engines were running at near-full power and its propellers were rotating at the time.

Last week’s report says the plane took off in “near-zero visibility.”

Bourn was a senior electrical engineer at Tesla. The other victims were Andrew Ingram, also an electrical engineer, and Brian Finn, a senior manager.

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