It was a sunny and calm morning last February when Appleton took off from the Boise Airport in his single engine experimental Lancair plane.
Something went wrong on his first attempt to take off, so he tried again.
It was on that second attempt that witnesses say he climbed 100-200 feet before rolling and crashing near the runway.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the plane burst into flames and that Appleton was thrown from the plane on impact.
NTSB began sifting through the wreckage immediately.
"What I am looking for specifically are any mechanical anomalies I can find, any systems, structures, look at the continuity of how the airplane was operating at the time of the accident," said NTSB investigator Zoe Keliher.
Within a week a preliminary report was released but NTSB did not release a cause of the crash. They said the investigation could take up to a year, but a final report on their investigation still has not been released.