- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

HUGGINS, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri plane crash that killed a Utah State Board of Education member, his wife and two of his children happened after the Beechcraft A-36 lost control during its initial climb, according to a preliminary federal investigative report released Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board report said investigators found no external signs of engine failure in the Provo, Utah-bound plane that crashed June 12. C. Mark Openshaw, 43, a member of the Utah education board since 2008, and his family were taking off from a relative’s grass airstrip near the town of Huggins when the plane went down. The Missouri State Highway Patrol previously identified the other victims as Openshaw’s wife, Amy, 43; their 15-year-old son, Tanner; and 12-year-old daughter, Ellie. The couple’s 5-year-old son survived with serious injuries, the patrol said.

The NTSB report said the pilot’s brother told investigators that he saw the airplane taxi to the north end of the 2,000 foot long grass runway where it turned around for a takeoff to the south. He said that the airplane lifted off and then began a right turn toward an opening in the tree line at the departure end of the runway. The airplane then pitched up abruptly, rolled to the left and dove into the ground, the brother told investigators.

A post-crash fire consumed the airplane’s cabin and the majority of the left wing, the report said. The NTSB said it was keeping the engine for a future teardown examination.

Openshaw, who won a second four-year school board term in 2012, served as the chairman of the Law and Licensing Committee. He also was the co-founder and president of AirComUSA, a Provo-based telecommunications business that provides Internet faxing services.

Funeral services for the crash victims are planned for Monday in Provo, Utah, according to Berg Mortuary.

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