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Denver's airplane engine didn't conk out, probers say

The engine of the fiberglass plane that carried John Denver to his death last week was operating when the aircraft plunged nose first into Monterey Bay, investigators said Wednesday.

The 10-year-old plane was so destroyed by the crash that neither the propellers nor the wing flaps have been recovered, said Matt Furman of the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C.Denver, 53, whose pilot's license had been suspended for 16 months due to drunken driving arrests near Aspen, died Oct. 12.

Toxicology tests, including blood-alcohol and drug screening, haven't been completed.

The fuel was low but not dangerously so, said Furman. The fuel tank ruptured upon impact, and the plane didn't carry a flight data recorder, he said.