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Federal panel releases findings on 2007 fatal crash of medical plane near Milwaukee

On Wednesday, a federal panel blamed a number of things for the 2007 crash of a medical plane in Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, in which six people were killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board said captain Bill Serra and first officer Dennis Hoyes should have reduced their air-speed after take off.

The plane's owner, Marlin Air, was faulted for not knowing that Serra had his pilot's license temporarily revoked twice in the past.

And the safety board said the craft's designer, Cessna, should move the auto-pilot switch and a motion control button away from each other.

Serra and Hoyes both died in the crash, along with four members of a University of Michigan heart transplant team that was delivering an organ from Milwaukee to Ann Arbor.

The NTSB said a lower air speed could have avoided two possible problems. One involved a control that could have forced the twin-engine plane to turn sharply.

The other problem might have been caused when Hoyes inadvertently turned on the plane's auto-pilot.

The safety board said the pilot had a checkered past.

Among other things, Serra was previously convicted of using a plane to smuggle illegal drugs into the U.S.