Federal investigators say an engine cylinder was damaged on a vintage World War II plane that crashed last month into the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, killing its pilot.
Newsday reports that the National Transportation Safety Board's finding is consistent with an "in-flight occurrence" that led the pilot to issue a distress call to air traffic controllers on May 27.
The P-47 Thunderbolt crashed during a promotion for the American Airpower Museum on Long Island, which was celebrating the 75th anniversary of the P-47.
Dozens of witnesses saw the plane go down, and at least one caught the moment the aircraft hit the water on video. That footage shows a large splash in the Hudson River, as a man off-camera can be heard saying, “did it just crash?”
Other people off the camera wonder aloud whether they had actually seen a plane crash before one says “We gotta call 911.”
Scuba divers later recovered pilot William Gordon's body several hours after the crash.
The federal report issued earlier this month doesn't say what caused the engine cylinder damage, but says there also was oil on the engine's exterior.
An investigation is ongoing.