DAGGETT A Daggett plane crash that killed three men, including off-road racer Rick Huseman, was caused by mechanical problems, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Rick Huseman, 38, Daniel Hicks, 35, and Jeffrey Huseman, 26, were killed when their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed into a wash in a remote, hilly area near Golden Desert Road and Harvard Road on Oct. 16.

According to a preliminary report issued by the NTSB last week, the plane's engine had a two-inch hole between two of the cylinders as well as damage to the pistons and other engine parts.

The airplane was operated by Fly Corona! as a rental airplane and was flying from North Las Vegas to Corona, according to the report. The pilot experienced a loss of engine power about one hour into the flight about 10 miles from the Barstow-Daggett airport.

A U.S. Army helicopter pilot flying in the area heard the pilot of the Beechcraft report that he had an engine problem and saw the airplane flying about 500 feet above ground level as it approached a series of power lines, according to the report. The plane then pitched upwards, turned to the right and made two full rotations while descending vertically before it hit the ground.

Hicks and both of the Huseman brothers were confirmed dead at the scene.

The plane crash was the second in the area in the past seven months. A Truckee woman and her two children died in March when their plane crashed near the Barstow-Daggett Airport in turbulent weather.