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Plane had repair just before crash that killed coaches

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A plane carrying two Oklahoma State women's coaches and a couple ferrying them to Arkansas for a recruiting trip was inspected and its muffler repaired about a week before it crashed, killing all four people on board, according to a report released this week.

The single-engine plane had an annual inspection on Nov. 8, 2011 — a little more than a week before it crashed on Nov. 17, near Perryville, Ark., according to a National Transportation Safety Board report dated Thursday and released Friday.

"During the annual inspection, the mechanic noted that the muffler was inspected, removed, weld repaired, and reinstalled," the report said.

OSU women's coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna died in the crash on their way from Still­water, Okla., to Little Rock, along with the pilot, Olin Branstetter, and his wife, Paula Branstetter.

The report did little to answer questions about why the plane crashed but instead provided details about the plane and pilot's log books. A probable cause report is expected to come out in about three months.

Weather was ruled out as a factor, but it's still not clear whether the pilot, at 82, had any medical issues that could have contributed.

Friday's women's games

NO. 15 L'VILLE 72, CINCINNATI 33: The host Cardinals forced 31 turnovers (15-4, 3-2 Big East) led by Antonita Slaughter and Sara Hammond with four steals each. Slaughter had 13 points and Hammond 12.

NO. 21 COLORADO 57, ARIZ. ST. 43: Chucky Jeffery had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the host Buffaloes (14-2, 3-2 Pac-12).

Plane had repair just before crash that killed coaches 01/18/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:09am]
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