UPDATE: Men Killed in Fatal Plane Crash Identified
Crystal Lake Police have confirmed that two people were killed in a plane crash near the Lake in the Hills Airport Thursday.
Two people were killed Thursday in a plane crash near the Lake in the Hills Airport, Crystal Lake police said.
The Northwest Herald reports Hugh Scott Clark, 65, of Lake Forest, and Paul San Filippo, 82, of Grayslake, died in the accident and "were in the front seats of the plane when it crashed."
The plane went down at 3:15 p.m. in a marshy gravel pit on the east side of Pyott Road, across the street from the airport, Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Gene Lowery said.
McHenry County deputy coroner Curt Bradshaw told the Northwest Herald the investigators are still working to determine who was piloting the plane.
Both men were pilots, but the plane was registered to San Filippo, according to the NW Herald.
A witness on the scene said they heard a loud noise and saw the plane make a sharp bank from the south to the north before going down. The witness said that the plane might have lost power.
"For reasons unknown at this time, witness statements indicate the plane may have been attempting to return to the airport when it began to decelerate just prior to impact," according to a Crystal Lake Police Department press release.
Lake in the Hills Aiport employees told Patch the plane had landed at the airport at least once earlier that day. They said the airport does not log who is coming in or leaving the airport and they did not believe the owner of plane rented space at the airport.
The Lake in the Hills Airport rents out hangars to pilots throughout the area.
Margaret Gittings, an office administrator at Blue Skies Flying Service at the LITH Airport, said she did not see the plane go down. The business has windows facing where the crash occurred.
"I looked out and thought, 'is that really a plane in the quarry pit?'" Gittings said.
She said Blue Skies was not allowing its students to fly Thursday because of the winds, which were between 18 to 20 mph. She said it would not be uncommon for a pilot with experience to take to the skies.
The crash site was difficult for emergency personnel to get to because of the softness of the marsh and because it was in a gravel pit. A bulldozer from the Rakow Road construction project made a dirt path to the crash site, Lowery said.
Police and emergency officials used ATVs to get to the plane.
Police said the crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.