Jeff Buckalew, his wife Corinne and their two children died when the plane he was piloting crashed on a highway.
The National Transportation Safety Board's report describes how Buckalew radioed air traffic controllers. He told them he was experiencing icing and requested to climb to a higher altitude.
The plane peaked at 17,900 feet before plummeting to the ground.
Meanwhile, the funeral for Buckalew and his family will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro Friday at 11 a.m.