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Altitude issue reported before crash that killed 4

Wednesday - 8/27/2014, 10:43am  ET

Investigators look over the wreckage of a plane crash as it rests on the side of a road Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Richmond Heights, Ohio. The Cessna 172R crashed and burst into flames just after takeoff from a regional airport outside of Cleveland on Monday, killing all four people on board, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. School officials say the three passengers killed in he crash were members of the varsity wrestling team for Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Federal officials say the pilot of a small plane carrying four Ohio college students radioed the tower after takeoff to say he was having problems climbing and would be returning to the airport.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says a preliminary report on the Monday night plane crash in suburban Cleveland should be ready within 10 days.

All four people aboard the plane were students at Case Western Reserve University. They planned to take a short sightseeing flight after their first day of classes when the plane crashed near Cuyahoga County Regional Airport in Willoughby Hills.

The wrestlers were identified as 20-year-old Lucas Marcelli of Massillon, Ohio; 18- year-old Abraham Pishevar of Rockville, Maryland; and 18-year-old John Hill of St. Simons, Georgia. The fourth student was the pilot, 20-year-old William Felten of Saginaw, Michigan.

The plane is being stored in an airport hangar as the NTSB completes its on-scene investigation.

A man who lives near the airport says he heard a plane engine sputtering before the crash.


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