GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The National Transportation Safety Board has released initial information about the cause of the plane crash that happened in Greenville on May 5.

The NTSB’s report states the pilot, Harley Talley, lost power about 10 miles from the Pitt-Greenville Airport while flying at an altitude of 4,000 feet. Talley and Alissa Walker were flying from Greensboro to Greenville to attend East Carolina University’s graduation ceremony.

Click here to see the preliminary report.

“The pilot said that when they were about 10 miles from PGV at an altitude of about 4,000 ft mean sea level (msl), he noticed a gradual loss in engine RPM. He tried to add power with the throttle, but there was no response. The pilot also applied carburetor heat, but there was no discernable difference in engine RPM. The engine continued to rapidly lose RPM before it finally stopped producing all power. The pilot trimmed the airplane for best glide speed and tried to reach the airport, however, he ended up landing about a ¼-mile short of the runway in a swamp.”

The pilot said in the NTSB report that a thorough examination of the plane was made before leaving Greensboro. “The pilot reported that he conducted a thorough preflight examination of the airplane and found nothing abnormal. Both wing fuel tanks were full, and the engine started and ran normally during all run-up checks. He then departed the Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO), Greensboro, North Carolina, for the Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV), Greenville, North Carolina, about 0800.”

The report also states the airplane, a Piper PA-21-180, N180LR, had not been recovered.

“Once the airplane is recovered, a follow-up examination of the airframe and engine will be
conducted,” the report states.