Report: Pilot might have attempted maneuver before crash

GROTON, S.D. (AP) — A preliminary report from federal investigators into the plane crash that killed a couple in northern South Dakota indicates the pilot might have been attempting an aerobatic maneuver before it went down.

The report from the National Transportation Safety Board says witnesses saw the plane take off down the runway before it rolled right and inverted before exiting the roll maneuver just prior to hitting the ground.

The crash happened Sept. 13 at the Groton Municipal Airport in Brown County where a fly-in was underway. Witnesses said the maneuver appeared intentional, the Argus Leader reported.

The crash killed pilot Doug Hansen, 64, and his wife, Tina Hansen, 55. They were from Clark.

A family member of the pilot said Hansen routinely performed low-level aerobatics in the plane he was flying, according to the report.