NTSB Lead Investigator Stuart Bothwell held a news conference Monday morning to give a preliminary update on Thursday's plane crash.
The crash killed Mason Maudlin of Little Rock, and Don Thompson, Dean Hart Sr. and Max Larche, all from Northeast Louisiana.
The plane left Beaumont, Texas around 12:25 p.m. the day of the crash. Officials say the flight's purpose was general transportation for a business trip.
Bothwell says the plane crashed into a marshy area in Richwood and left a hole in the ground measuring eight feet in the deepest part. The crash also created a one acre debris field. Crews had to dig a hole just to extract the wreckage.
Bothwell also said the last ground speed recorded on plane was in excess of 200 knots, the normal approach for a Beechcraft Bonanza is 120 knots.
Witnesses told investigators that the plane descended near vertical toward the ground before impact. The plane is completely destroyed.
Currently, investigators are working to gather more information such as the flight qualifications and history of the pilot, condition of the plane, or the weather during the time of the crash.
Bothwell said the 31-year-old pilot had a commercial pilot's license and 470 total flying hours. He was also an instructor pilot, had received his 1st Class Medical Certificate in 2008, and had completed check rides for his employment with Central Flying Service in Little Rock. Bothwell said it's unknown at this time when the pilot started his flight career.
A preliminary report will be released in a couple of days, but the complete report for a probable cause of the crash won't be ready until a year from now.