Investigator: Pilot didn't radio about trouble before crash killed 1, injured 3 in Laughlin

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LAS VEGAS — A pilot didn't radio a distress call before the fiery crash of a single-engine airplane that killed one person and injured three others heading from Laughlin to the Phoenix area, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said Monday.

The four-seat Rockwell Commander 114 crashed and burned about 6 p.m. Sunday on Needles Highway just moments after takeoff and less than 5 miles southwest of Laughlin-Bullhead International Airport, NTSB spokesman Nicholas Worrell said.

One person died in the crash, and three others were hospitalized, including at least two with burn injuries, Deputy Clark County Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan said.

The names of the dead and injured weren't immediately made public.

The aircraft had been bound for Phoenix Goodyear Airport, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in California.

"Once he took off, there was no further communication," Worrell said, adding that witnesses described the aircraft flying unusually low and reported hearing sounds suggesting engine trouble before the crash.

The crash occurred near Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area, about 100 miles south of Las Vegas.

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