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MONROE, La. (AP) - A federal investigator says a plane that crashed and killed four men last week dove almost straight into mud while making a second approach to Monroe Regional Airport.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Stuart Bothwell on Monday told a news conference in Monroe that the impact created an 8-foot-crater and left debris spread over nearly an acre in Richwood, south of Monroe.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss in Washington says Bothwell told him that the plane burned in the crater.

Weiss says the pilot, flying by instruments, missed his first approach and was coming around for another attempt when it dropped off radar on Thursday without any further air traffic communication or a distress call.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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