Report: Plane OK'd for test flights

LAS VEGAS " Aviation officials say a homemade plane that killed three people when it crashed into a home was given special authorization to conduct test flights in and out of the North Las Vegas Airport.

The pilot, 76-year-old Mack Creekmore Murphree Jr. of Dayton, lost altitude shortly after takeoff. He was killed in the crash, along with a retired couple living in the home.

Details of a preliminary investigation into the Friday crash show the experimental Velocity 173 RG needed the special approval because it did not have enough flight hours to fly over urban areas.

The report shows the plane had logged 5.1 hours in the air.

Investigators say the owner of the plane told aviation officials he intended to test a device meant to boost the engine's power.


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