Witnesses recall plane flying ‘very low over their house’ before crashing near Monmouth Municipal Airport

MONMOUTH, Illinois -- The Federal Aviation Administration has released witness accounts as part of a preliminary report about a deadly plane crash over the summer.

Two men died in the crash, which happened around 11:15 a.m. on June 24 near the Monmouth Municipal Airport.  The two men on board, 65-year-old Robert V. Burkhart from Peoria and 72-year-old Roger D. Lundeen from Galesburg had taken off from the Galesburg Municipal Airport at about 10:50 a.m. that same morning, according to the FAA report.

Three witnesses claimed to see the plane, an Ercoupe 415-D, before it crashed.  Two witnesses told the FAA that the plane was flying "very low over their house," about 30 feet above.  They said the engine sounded as though it was backfiring.  After the plane made a steep turn, it crashed to the ground in a wooded area and "burst into flames."

Click here to read the full preliminary report

The other witness said he was on a nearby golf course when the plane flew by, according to the FAA report.  He said "the engine sounded like it was missing and not flying smoothly."

The Warren County Coroner confirmed that both men were dead at the scene.

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