Micron CEO dies in plane crash in Idaho

In this Dec. 12, 2005 file photo, Steve Appleton, CEO and chairman of Micron Technology Inc., looks out through the engine compartment of his stunt jet airplane inside the hanger where he keeps several different types of aircraft in Boise, Idaho. Appleton, has died in a small plane crash Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, in Boise. He was 51. (AP Photo/Troy Maben, File)

February 3, 2012 1:47:15 PM PST
The CEO of a semiconductor company in San Jose died in a plane crash in Idaho this morning.

Micron Technology, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Steve Appleton, 51, was killed when a small plane he was piloting crashed in Boise, according to a statement on the company's website.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, identified the aircraft as a Lancair single-engine plane.

The plane crashed for an unknown reason around 9 a.m. local time in Boise, Idaho, Kenitzer said.

Appleton had tried to return the plane to the airport shortly after departing and crashed just short of the runway, he said.

Appleton was the only occupant aboard the plane.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

The company is based in Boise, but also has a facility on North First Street in San Jose.

Appleton leaves behind his wife, Dalynn, and their children.

"Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large," the company said in a statement.

Micron said it would provide additional information later today.