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NTSB: Pilot reported engine trouble before fatal crash

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(Public Radio East graphic)
A small plane crashed in Winston-Salem on Saturday, killing two people.

A plane that crashed in North Carolina, killing two people from Illinois, was experiencing engine trouble, federal authorities said.

The pilot reported the engine trouble to the tower at Smith Reynolds Airport on Saturday as he approached to land, Pete Wentz, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Winston Salem-Journal.

The pilot said he was going to circle the airport in Winston-Salem for a second attempt when he lost control of the plane, Wentz said.

The Piper PA30 Twin Comanche crashed in a residential area, killing pilot Joe Kreher Jr. and his wife Patty Kreher. They lived in Freeburg, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis.

Wentz said the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating, as well as representatives from the manufacturers of the plane and its engine.