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HELENA, Mont. -- The National Transportation Safety Board says an Arizona business executive who died along with a co-worker in an airplane crash in northwestern Montana last month was not a certified pilot.

The NTSB's preliminary report says the Beech B100 collided with trees near Libby at 12:02 a.m. on Dec. 19, causing the crash that killed 54-year-old Carl J. Douglas and 43-year-old John Smith, both of Coolidge, Ariz.

The men were flying from Arizona to Libby for meeting at Douglas' company, Stinger Welding.

The Western News confirmed with the Federal Aviation Administration in late December that, according to its records, Douglas had a student pilot license.

Under FAA rules, a student pilot may not carry passengers, may not fly for hire or in furtherance of a business and may only fly under visual flight rules.

Associated Press,

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