Warren County Coroner: Deceased may have attended Macomb fly-in breakfast
MONMOUTH — The two people killed Sunday morning in a plane crash near the Monmouth Municipal Airport were men from Peoria and Galesburg, Warren County Coroner Al McGuire said Monday.
Robert V. Burkhart, 65, of Peoria and Roger D. Lundeen, 72, of Galesburg were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, McGuire said. Authorities said Sunday the crash was reported about 11:10 a.m. about half a mile northeast of the airport.
Burkhart was the registered owner of the fixed-wing, single-engine plane, a model 415-D manufactured in 1946, according to the Federal Aviation Administration registry.
McGuire said he believed the men had attended a fly-in/drive-in breakfast and open house Sunday at the Macomb Municipal Airport.
“My understanding is that they were in Macomb that morning,” McGuire said. “Mr. Burkhart lived in Peoria but his plane was hangared in Galesburg.”
When first responders arrived at the scene Sunday, witnesses directed them to a brush area where a fire crew extinguished the burning aircraft.
Burkhart and Lundeen were located on board the plane and were declared dead at the scene by McGuire. No one on the ground was injured. The matter was referred to the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation.
Eyewitnesses near the scene described hearing a plane engine sputtering late that morning. The plane was coming in low before it banked hard and crashed, and witnesses heard an explosion.
Personnel responding to the incident included the Alexis Fire Department, Alexis Ambulance, Gerlaw Fire Department, Warren Central Fire District, Monmouth Fire Department, Monmouth Police Department, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police.
The FAA began investigating the incident Monday morning.
Register-Mail photographer Steve Davis and Gatehouse Media contributed to this report.