CANTON, Mo. (AP) -- Federal investigators say a plane that crashed in northeast Missouri, killing both men on board, hit a tree before crashing.
The victims of the Aug. 29, 2012, crash were identified as 74-year-old John R. Johnson, of Carbondale, Ill., and 47-year-old Carl S. Maiden, of DuQuoin, Ill. The 1956 twin-engine Piper crashed a few miles from Canton.
In a probable cause report released Friday, the National Transportation Safety Board says the plane took off a Pinckneyville, Ill., airport and was headed to a private airstrip near Blakesburg, Iowa.
The NTSB says the probable cause of the accident was the 74-year-old pilot's decision to try to make a forced landing in a field with obstacles. The report says the plane hit a tree, and that there were larger, more open fields nearby.