By Jon King /

The National Transportation Safety Board was unable to find the cause of a 2019 airplane crash into Lake Michigan that left two men dead, including the Livingston County-based pilot.

The Detroit News reports that the agency's final report last month says the probable cause was “a loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information. Killed in the crash were Emanuel Z. Manos, who was the president of Detroit Salt Co., and the pilot Randal Dippold. Dippold, a Pinckney High School graduate, owned Airservice Enterprise Inc. at the Livingston County Airport, which is where the aircraft was based.

Authorities have said that the two men escaped the aircraft before it sunk on May 12th, 2019. The airplane, a single-engine Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, was found on the bottom of Lake Michigan, in about 540 feet of water, in relatively good condition. The body of the 53-year-old Manos of Monroe was later found, while Dippold’s was never recovered. The plane took off from Ontonagon in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and was heading to Monroe when it reportedly had engine trouble at about 7,000 feet. Dippold requested an emergency landing and was directed to Frankfort. He reported the shoreline in sight, but was never heard from again.

One avenue of investigation for the crash was fuel consumption. The plane has a range of 600 nautical miles, but may have flown as much as 625 miles that day with no record of additional fuel being taken on board in either Monroe or in Ontonagon.