A preliminary federal investigation says the teenage pilot of a small airplane didn't have any radio contact before the aircraft crashed in Alabama on New Year's Day, killing three people.
The National Transportation Safety Board report released Thursday says authorities learned of the crash in Walker County after witnesses called 911.
The report doesn't say what caused the crash, in which a 17-year-old student pilot and two friends died.
The report backs up authorities who say the pilot took the twin-engine Piper airplane on a joyride and crashed.
While the pilot's mother denies he stole the plane, the NTSB report says the airplane's owner didn't give the youth keys to the plane and didn't let him fly it.
The pilot had worked as a clean-up person at the Jasper airport.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.