The National Transportation Safety Board today released a preliminary report on the fatal Jan. 29 plane crash at Berkeley County Airport.

Manfred Stolle, 48, of Cornelius, N.C., the pilot and sole occupant, was taken to Moncks Corner Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

"The witnesses stated that when they initially observed the airplane's approach, it looked 'normal,'" according to the report. "None of the witnesses observed any flames or smoke emanating from the airplane."

Witnesses, who were certified pilots, said the plane's attitude was normal for a landing approach, but then the airplane "unexpectedly pitched down into a near 45-degree dive and impacted terrain," the report stated.