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Investigators: Plane sustained engine damage before crash that killed Putnam man

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WORCESTER, Mass.— Federal investigators say a small plane that crashed at Worcester Regional Airport, killing its pilot, appears to have sustained engine damage while in operation.

Sixty-six-year-old Gary Weller of Putnam, Connecticut, was the only occupant in the plane when it crashed on Oct. 24. The single-engine, 1996 Mooney M20M plane crashed into the woods as it was taking off.

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board issued earlier this week doesn’t give a conclusive cause for the crash. But evidence suggests there was no engine power at impact.

The report also notes there were many broken pieces in the engine, that the plane appears to have crashed “almost straight down” and that there was no evidence of smoke or fire in flight or at the crash site.