The helicopter crash that killed country star Troy Gentry and its pilot was preceded by engine problems, a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board has found.

Gentry a member of the Grand Ole Opry and one half of country duo Montgomery Gentry, was killed Friday in a crash in Medford, N.J.

MORE:Troy Gentry: A life of triumph and tragedy

The report states that several minutes after takeoff, the pilot reported that he was unable to control the RPM (revolutions per minute) of the engine.

After discussing landing options with two flight instructors, the pilot "elected to stop the engine and perform an autorotation, which was a familiar procedure he had performed numerous times in the past."

In autorotation, the helicopter's blades are turned by the air moving up through the rotor during descent.

According to the report, the helicopter ride was a recreational one: "an orientation/pleasure flight to the passenger who was scheduled to perform in a concert on the airport later that evening."

A celebration of Gentry’s life is set for 11 a.m. (central time)Thursday at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

The service will be open to the public and a live stream of the service will be available at