Updates On Walton Crash

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The NTSB has released its preliminary report on the June 27 crash in Wyoming that killed Wal-Mart heir John Walton. According to the report, Walton took off from Runway 19 at Jackson Hole Airport in a two-place CGS Hawk Arrow, flew a pattern at about 700 to 900 feet, and shortly after turning onto the base leg, began a nose-low descent and impacted the ground. He was in radio contact with the control tower and did not report any problems, and initial inspection of the aircraft has not revealed any evidence of mechanical or structural failure, the NTSB said. Meanwhile, Chuck Slusarczyk, owner of CGS Aviation, told The Associated Press on Monday that judging from photos and an eyewitness account, the fuselage cover did not seem to be on the aircraft during the flight. "It's not designed to fly without a fuselage cover," Slusarczyk said. According to the NTSB, the aircraft was "an unregistered CGS Aviation Hawk Two Place Arrow experimental homebuilt airplane." The investigation is unusual in that the NTSB does not normally get involved in accidents of unregistered aircraft. As ultralights are transformed into Light Sport Aircraft, however, and gain N-numbers in the process, such reports may become standard procedure. Slusarczyk told the AP that Walton had said he would register the aircraft.