CRESSKILL, N.J. (AP) — Federal investigators say the crash of a Coast Guard Auxiliary plane near busy New Jersey athletic fields last year was probably caused by a maintenance failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board identified the likely cause of the September 2015 crash as a failure of a maintenance crew to properly install engine cylinder nuts and bolts.
The board says that failure resulted in the loosening of components, loss of lubrication and eventually to a total loss of engine power.
An earlier NTSB report said the plane was inspected in mid-July.
That report said pilots Jack Rosenberg and Erik Pearson were returning from Albany, New York, on a routine observation mission near New York City when their Cessna Skyhawk's engine "stopped producing power," about 2,000 feet above the Hudson River.
As they descended, Rosenberg saw some athletic fields were in use, so he steered away from them and landed at the edge of a stand of trees.
Both men were seriously injured.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a volunteer organization that promotes safety for recreational boaters. Rosenberg has been an auxiliary member since 2005 and Pearson since 2010.