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OLATHE, Kan. — Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have started looking into the cause of a deadly plane crash at Johnson County Executive Airport.

The NTSB said its investigators are at the airport and documenting the wreckage.

“The information we have right now is that the airplane was on take-off,” John Brannen, NTSB senior air safety investigator, said. “It had been cleared for take-off to the north, and shortly after take-off, the pilot transmitted that he needed to return. There was no indication from the pilot the reason he needed to return. The airplane subsequently crashed off the north end of the runway.”

The airport was closed immediately after the crash. Roads in the area were also closed because of where the plane went down Sunday.

The wreckage was moved to another area Monday and 151st from Pflumm to Quivira reopened to traffic.

Investigators will continue to look at the plane as they work to determine what caused it to crash. They will look at the plane and other data, including autopsy and toxicology reports. The NTSB said some evidence was severely damaged due to the fire upon impact.

“One of the things we’ll be doing is examining the engine and internal components to determine if there was power on the airplane,” Brannen said.

According to the NTSB, the investigation will likely take about a year before the agency releases the findings.

The plane was flying to New Mexico when it crashed as it was taking off around 10:20 a.m. Sunday.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said the pilot, 51-year-old Robert Douglas Ming, of Laguna Niguel, California, died in the crash. No one else was on the plane at the time of the crash.

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