- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) - Federal officials say pilot error caused the deadly crash of a single-engine plane last summer in the Adirondack Mountains.

The fiery accident last July near Lake Placid Airport killed the 63-year-old West Virginia pilot, his 24-year-old daughter and her Clarkson University classmate.

The ruling this month by National Transportation Safety Board officials says probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed.

NTSB said Fred Kafka’s plane and another aircraft had approached the airport from opposite directions intending to land. Both planes diverted, and as Kafka’s entered a steep climb and made a crosswind turn, the nose dropped, the airplane entered a spin to the ground, and burst into flames on impact.

Investigators said they found no pre-existing mechanical problems with the Mooney M20 plane.

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