Report: Plane that crashed near Canton in 2012 hit a tree

This Piper Pa-23-150 aircraft crashed about three miles southwest on Canton, Mo., on Aug. 29, 2012. (H-W File Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Mar. 10, 2014 4:01 pm Updated: Mar. 31, 2014 5:14 pm

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.

Click here for the full NTSB Probable Cause report.

Click here for the full NTSB Factual Report.

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