Officials: Plane Had Fuel Tank Issues Before Fatal Crash

(Credit: Alan Lavender Family/EAA/Sonex)

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says a plane crashed into an apartment building in Methuen, killing a former mayor, had fuel tank issues months before the fatal crash.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that investigators did not say exactly what caused the February 2017 crash.

But in a recent report said whatever did happen, happened shortly after takeoff.

Alan Lavender died when the plane crashed into the building on approach to Lawrence Municipal Airport.

The 73-year-old Lavender was a former city councilor and mayor of Newburyport. No residents were injured.

NTSB investigators say Lavender wrote in an email three days before his death that he had the plane's fuel tank fixed.

Lavender said in the email he planned to do "touch-and-goes" to ensure everything was working correctly.

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