Friday, June 10, 2016

Cirrus SR22, A J Air Inc., N508AJ: Fatal accident occurred June 10, 2016 at Williamson County Regional Airport (KMWA) Marion, Illinois

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: 


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Springfield FSDO-19

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA214
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 10, 2016 in Marion, IL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N508AJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 10, 2016, at 1634 central daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22 single-engine airplane, N508AJ, impacted terrain following a loss of control during a simulated engine failure maneuver at the Williamson County Regional Airport (MWA), Marion, Illinois. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, the flight instructor sustained serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by AJ Air, Inc, Carbondale, Illinois, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed MWA at 1605.

According to the air traffic control tower personnel, the airplane was performing touch and go maneuvers, then requested a climb to 3,000 feet to perform a simulated engine failure descent to land maneuver. The air traffic controller observed the airplane in a left turn descent. As the airplane approached the runway, the controller observed the right wing lift, the airplane stall and impact terrain.

Examination of the accident site revealed an initial impact point which contained fractured portions of the green navigation lens, consistent with the right wing. The debris field measured approximately 242 feet in length from the initial impact to main wreckage. The debris field contained fragmented sections of the right wing, propeller assembly, and forward fuselage structure. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, left wing, engine, and a portion of the right wing. The airframe parachute was found deployed and lying next to the main wreckage. The deployment was consistent with impact activation.

At 1657, the MWA automated weather observing system, reported the wind from 170 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 20 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 32 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Todd Greiner

MARION — The flight instructor who survived the single-engine plane crash at the Williamson County Airport on Friday afternoon remained in critical condition at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis as of Wednesday afternoon.

Hospital public relations manager Nicholas McLaren confirmed about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday that the status of Todd Greiner, 64, of West Frankfort, remained unchanged from when he was airlifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital after the crash about 4:30 p.m. that day.

A GoFundMe page for Greiner and his family was created Monday “in an effort to help reduce the financial burden on them during their time of need so they can focus on what is important right now, which is the full recovery of their loving husband, father and grandfather.” 

The post on the fundraising website — — also provided some updates on Greiner's condition. 

The creators of the page described themselves as family members of the Greiners. The narrative states that Greiner was airlifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital after he was extricated from the plane, and that it was about two hours from the time of the crash to the time Greiner arrived in the operating room.

“It is a miracle in itself that Todd was able to survive the plane crash, let alone be able to survive a helicopter ride to a hospital 45 minutes away,” the post reads. “The surgeons who initially worked on Todd in the operating room were very cautious on how Todd would recover.”

“However,” the post continues, “Todd being a strong willed, God loving person and all of the prayers from his family and friends, he has defied all odds. His surgeons have gone from being ‘cautious’ to calling him their ‘miracle’ man.”

The post states that the exact cause of the accident is unknown at this time. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board responded to the scene, and though the NTSB is expected to release a preliminary report soon, it could be a year or more before a comprehensive crash investigation is completed.

The single-engine plane crash resulted in the death of the other passenger, John Alleman, 56, of Carbondale. Alleman had a private pilot’s license, and it was his aircraft. He was declared dead at the scene of the accident. On Sunday, the Williamson County Coroner’s Office issued a news release stating that a preliminary autopsy shows that Alleman died of “multiple impact trauma” from the crash.

Funeral mass will be at 2 p.m. Thursday for Alleman at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Carbondale, with Father Robert Flannery officiating, according to his obituary. Visitation is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., before the funeral services. Private interment will follow in Egyptian Memorial Gardens in Herrin. Alleman was a personal injury lawyer in Carbondale, and owned rental properties. 

The GoFundMe post states that Greiner was helping a friend re-certify his pilot’s license in accordance with FAA guidelines. Pilots are required to undergo a flight review with a certified instructor every two years in order to continue operating an aircraft.

“While performing FAA required maneuvers for the re-certification of the pilot, something went terribly wrong causing the plane to crash,” the post reads.

The post states that Greiner is “not by any means out of the woods,” and that a long road is ahead of him and his immediate family members, mentally, financially and physically.

The post states that donations are being sought to help with lodging, gas food and other miscellaneous costs. The fundraising goal is set at $25,000 and as of Wednesday afternoon, just more than $5,000 had been raised by 67 people. The post described the Greiners as givers, and not the type of family to ever ask for help “as they are more focused on putting others before themselves.

“Todd and Sue have spent the majority of their lives spreading the gospel to anyone who will listen,” the post reads.

The post says that all donations will be deposited into an account that goes straight to Greiner and his immediate family, who were not aware that the GoFundMe page was being set up on their behalf. 

It continues, “We all know that while it may be a miracle that Todd has defied the statistics of surviving a plane crash of that caliber, a 40-minute helicopter ride to being placed on the operating table to all of the injuries that he has, that it is God’s work.

"God has determined there is more for Todd to do on this Earth.”

Original article can be found here:

John Alleman

John Alleman

John Alleman is pictured here with his daughter at a Green Bay Packers game.

MARION -- Friends and family remember well-known Carbondale lawyer John Alleman as a philanthropist and loving father.

Alleman, a certified pilot, died in Friday's plane crash at the Williamson County Airport. West Frankfort pastor Todd Greiner, also a pilot, suffered serious injuries in that same crash. Aviation experts call the experienced pilot's death a tragic accident.

"There really aren't words to say how I felt. It was just completely devastating," said Victoria Gallo, a friend of Alleman.

Gallo remembers him as a smart pilot and selfless philanthropist.

"He did everything he could to give back. He was the most selfless person I've ever met and the biggest humanitarian I've ever known," Gallo said.

Autopsy results show Alleman died from "multiple impact trauma" as a result of the plane crash.

Aviation experts say audio recordings from inside the cockpit of his plane reveal Alleman and Greiner had tried to simulate landing with engine failure.

Ronald and Amy Simpson, friends of Alleman's, said his legacy lives on in a building Alleman had built for the couple in Carterville, to run their charity food pantry "Gumdrops," which provides meals for children in need.

"If it wasn't for John, Gumdrops wouldn't be where it is today. He's a very special and dear man to us," said Amy Simpson.

Alleman often personally helped package food for the kids. His contributions helped the charity prepare roughly 250,000 food packages for children in need.

"His memory will last on, forever. Yes it will. We are grateful and indebted to his family for everything," Amy Simpson said.

A funeral mass for John Alleman will be held Thursday, June 13 at 2:00 p.m. at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Carbondale. In lieu of flowers, Alleman's family has requested donations be made to several local charities:

The Free Again Wildlife Refuge, 4031 Big Muddy Rd, Carterville, IL  62918

Gum Drops, 1005 Briarwood Rd, Carterville, IL  62918

The Herrin Animal Control Shelter, 1225 Weaver Rd, Herrin, IL  62948

This Able Veteran, 1714 Wolf Creek Rd, Carbondale, IL  62902.

Story and video:

Carbondale – John D. Alleman, 56, died Friday, June 10, 2016 due to injuries sustained in an airplane crash at the Williamson County Airport in Marion.

John worked as a personal injury attorney at the Alleman Law Firm and owned Alleman Properties in Carbondale, Carterville, Marion and De Soto.

John was a member of the Illinois Bar Association and was sworn in by the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D. C. to practice law before the Supreme Court.

John was a friend to many, particularly children and those in need.  He was also a quiet humanitarian, devout Catholic and loving father to his daughter and granddaughters.

He was an experienced pilot and regularly took trips in his personal aircraft to Wisconsin.  He frequently visited both Green Bay for football games, and Door County, a beautiful waterfront location that his daughter loved visiting.  He gave freely but what made him a special kind of philanthropist was that in addition to money, he also gave of his time and heart.

John was born January 25, 1960 in Hammond, IN to Lloyd and Emma E. (Steffan) Alleman.

Surviving are, a daughter and son-in-law, Stevie and Clay Pyle of Carterville; two granddaughters, Aija Alleman of Carterville, Cami Pyle of Carterville; mother, Emma Alleman of Herrin; father, Lloyd Alleman of Champaign; brother and sister-in-law, Dale “D.J.” and Gail Alleman of Mt. Zion; sister and brother-in-law, Cindy Nelson Hill and Randy Hill of Woodstock, GA; his companion, Pam Carroll of Carterville and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral mass will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 2016 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Carbondale with Fr. Robert Flannery officiating.  A time of visitation for family and friends will be from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Thursday at the church.  After services, in accordance with his wishes, he will be cremated.  Private interment will be in Egyptian Memorial Gardens in Herrin. The family request memorial donations made to The Free Again Wildlife Refuge,4031 Big Muddy Rd, Carterville, IL  62918; Gum Drops, 1005 Briarwood Rd, Carterville, IL  62918; The Herrin Animal Control Shelter, 1225 Weaver Rd, Herrin, IL  62948 or to This Able Veteran, 1714 Wolf Creek Rd, Carbondale, IL  62902.

Read more here:

MARION -- A longtime family friend of the man who died in a plane crash on Friday afternoon at the Williamson County Regional Airport called John Alleman a friend to many, particularly children and those in need. He also was a quiet humanitarian, a devout Catholic and a loving father to his daughter, and the granddaughter he adopted, said Tracee Foley.

Alleman, 56, worked as a personal injury lawyer in Carbondale and owned student housing near campus. He was an experienced pilot and regularly took trips in his personal aircraft to Wisconsin, she said. He frequently visited both Green Bay for football games, and Door County, a beautiful waterfront location that his adopted daughter loved visiting.

He so loved the Packers that the team logo graced the side of his single-engine, 2004 model Cirrus SR22. But he loved nothing more than his family, friends and even strangers, she said, especially willing to befriend those fallen on hard times and without family to lean on, Foley said.

Foley described him as the type of person who gave freely of his money. But what made him a special kind of philanthropist, she said, is how freely he also gave of his time and heart.

“When you know him, you want to be a better person,” Foley said. “I’m a better person because I knew him.”

Few crash details

It may be months before details emerge as to what caused the crash that took the life of this experienced pilot, and left the other passenger aboard the aircraft, also an experienced pilot and certified flight instructor, in critical condition.

The other passenger, Todd Greiner, 64, of West Frankfort, was extricated from the aircraft by emergency workers who arrived on scene shortly after they were notified of the crash via 9-1-1 call, said Jeremy Norris, fire chief at the Williamson County Fire Protection District. He was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital.

Aaron Sauer, a senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said the plane departed from the Williamson County Regional Airport as an “instructional flight.”

The crash took place on Friday around 4:35 p.m. near the airport’s north-south runway. The airport has remained open, with its east-west runway fully operational, according to the airport director, Doug Kimmel.

Though, Sauer did not say specifically what the purpose was for Greiner to provide Alleman with instruction. Those are details that will be examined as part of the investigation, he said. At some point prior to the crash, the aircraft was performing a touch-and-go practice maneuver, he said, but it’s too early to say what the two were doing when the crash occurred, he said.

Dispatch received a call from air traffic control and an eyewitness driving by, he said.

Officials representing a variety of agencies provided media an update on the crash on Saturday afternoon at a 3 p.m. press conference at the Williamson County Airport. It was at this media briefing that Scott Kinley, Williamson County’s chief deputy coroner, identified the passengers as Alleman, who he said was pronounced dead at the scene, and Greiner, who Kinley said at the time remained listed in critical condition in St. Louis.

Greiner an 'outstanding man'
No new updates on Greiner’s condition had been made available as of press time late Saturday night, from officials or family. On Facebook, several people expressed a common theme about Greiner, saying that he was the type of pastor who welcomed everyone into the houses of worship where he served with wide-open arms, and a man who truly lives the gospel he preaches.

His business website also lists him as the owner of Greiner Advertising in West Frankfort, and in the voicemail message at the listed number, Greiner also says he is a flight instructor at the Marion airport.

Jake Thompson, of Marion, said his grandparents are very close to Greiner, and that many people are praying for his recovery, and anxiously awaiting updates on his condition. He said Greiner had served as a pastor in Southern Illinois for years, including one Creal Springs and for a long stretch at the Community of Faith, in Marion. Thompson said Greiner still serves as part of a traveling ministry. “He is just a really sweet guy,” Thompson said. “He would help anyone. He’s an outstanding man, and I look up to him a lot.”

Investigation standard protocol

It is standard protocol for all plane crashes to be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which will issue a final report of its findings.

A preliminary report will be made available sometime next week, though it’s unclear at this stage to what degree it will shed light on the cause of the accident. And it may be six months to a year before a final report is completed, the NTSB's Sauer said.

Foley, Alleman’s friend, said it’s her understanding that the flight was for a routine re-certification.

Pilots in the United States that intend to operate an aircraft are required to undergo a flight review every two years. The review is required by federal aviation regulations for all pilots who intend to operate an aircraft, and meant to provide a periodic assessment of one’s flying skills, and determine if there are any areas of weakness that may affect flight safety and warrant further instruction, according to a publication of the Air Safety Institute.

Both called safe pilots 

Foley described Alleman as a “safe pilot.” “He wasn’t a risk-taker and was very conscientious and valued his life and other people’s lives,” she said. On social media, several people have made similar comments about Greiner’s commitment to flight safety.

According to news releases, the Federal Aviation Administration had recognized both pilots with inclusion in what it calls a prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database. The database names Greiner and Alleman among pilots who have "met or exceeded the high educational, educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA" according to the releases dated September 2013.

Foley said that Alleman leaves behind an adult daughter, as well as his 13-year-old granddaughter who he adopted and has raised since she was little. He loved them both dearly, she said. Foley said she and her husband John Foley became acquainted with Alleman some 25 years ago, as John also is an attorney, currently serving as legal counsel for the city of Anna.

A quiet humanitarian 
Foley said that Alleman did not boast about his generous activities. Among them, he was one of the primary funders of a program in the Carterville school district to send students in need home with a backpack full of weekend meals to get them through to Monday.

She also said that Alleman takes his daughter on a large shopping spree every Christmas – but not to buy things for her. He has instilled in his young daughter the value of giving, and the two would pick out presents for children that may have otherwise gone without, she said.

He also was known for throwing big holiday parties, and inviting friends and anyone in the community who didn’t have a place to go to celebrate with loved ones. He loved cooking in his gourmet kitchen, and served large parties of people who showed up around his driftwood kitchen table at his home on Strawberry Road, she said.

But of all the stories of his gracious spirit, Foley said one of her favorites is of the deep friendship Alleman forged with the maintenance man he had hired to work on his student apartment rentals. When that man fell ill with cancer and had no family to care for him, she said Alleman built him a cottage next to his house, and helped him to doctor’s appointments and made sure he had meals and care and companionship until the day he died. He even fulfilled a final wish for the man to visit Vatican City.

“He did these things quietly,” she said. “Only people close to him knew.”

Alleman's biography on his law office's website says that he grew up in Mount Zion, Illinois, and moved to Carbondale to attend the SIU School of Law, where he was one of three students to graduate early. He turned down an offer to move to St. Louis, opting to make a home in Carbondale. An accomplished lawyer, the biography states that in 1996, he won one of the largest "slip and fall" jury verdicts in Illinois ($396,410); and settled one of the largest workers' compensation cases, in excess of $2.1 million, the biography continues.  

Under the heading "interesting facts," the biography also says he started his professional education with Spartan Aviation in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1983 and 1984, and continues to be an active pilot today. He lists memberships of the Airplane Owners Pilot Association and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association. 

He also included in this category that his first job was in high school washing dishes at Red Lobster. 

Kimmel, the airport director, said that to the best of his knowledge, the last time there was an accident of significance at the airport was about five years ago. But he said this is the only fatal accident at the airport of which he is aware.

Original article can be found here:

Aaron Sauer of the National Transportation Safety Board provides details of the Friday air crash at Williamson County Airport that resulted in fatal injuries to a Carbondale man. Representatives from several agencies were also present at a Saturday afternoon news conference, including Bryan Burgess, public information officer for the Williamson County Fire Protection District, Scott Kinley of the Williamson County Coroner's office and Jeremy Norris, WFPD chief.

MARION – A student pilot, practicing touch and go maneuvers, died about 4:30 p.m. Friday when his single engine Cirrus SR22 plane crashed at Williamson County Airport in Marion.

During a news conference Saturday, the deceased pilot was identified as John D. Alleman of Carbondale. His flight instructor, 64-year-old Todd Greiner of West Frankfort, was critically injured.

Doug Kimmel, airport manager, said it’s believed to be the first fatality at the airport, although there have been several accidents – the most severe about five years ago when a plane went off the south end of the airport.

Friday’s incident occurred on the airport’s north-south runway (02-20), about 500 feet north of the runway’s approach, according to Kimmel.

Alleman was pronounced dead at the scene, according to deputy coroner Scott Kinley. Williamson County Fire Protection District Chief Jeremy Norris said Greiner was extricated from the plane and then airlifted to a nearby hospital. His condition on Saturday was listed as “critical.”

Officials have not been able to determine at this time whether Greiner was providing private lessons or if he was under employment from a business and/or school. The aircraft was housed at the airport, officials confirmed.

Kimmel and Norris said fire and rescue personnel responded to the crash scene within minutes of the crash.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. National Transportation Safety Board representative Aaron Sauer said the plane is not equipped with a black box, adding, “There are a couple of avionics units aboard that aircraft. They did sustain some damage but we’ll go ahead and recover those and send those back to our laboratories in Washington, D.C.”

The data on those units would include flight path, air speeds, altitude and “things of that nature,” according to Sauer. He said the investigation will include “the man, machine and environment.” Those details would include the experience of the pilot and certified instructor, maintenance records and weather conditions. Sauer said weather conditions on Friday were “fairly good.” He added there was no reported problem from the cockpit prior to the crash.

In addition to the NTSB, officials from the FFA, Cirrus and Continental Motors – manufacturers of the engine – are all involved in the investigation, he added. Sauer said he expects a preliminary report within 10 to 14 days, which will be available on the agency’s website. A final report is not expected until six months up to a year.

The north-south runway remained closed Saturday, although the east-west runway was open to air traffic, according to Kimmel.

Original article can be found here:

Williamson County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Brian Burgess updates media after a plane crash Friday.

Federal authorities continue to investigate Friday's crash at the Williamson County Regional Airport.

Williamson County Chief Deputy Coroner Scott Kinley says 56-year old John D. Alleman of Carbondale was killed, and 64-year old Todd Greiner was airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital and is listed in critical condition.

Airport Director Doug Kimmel says the plane was attempting to land shortly after 4:30 Friday afternoon when it crashed about 500 feet north of the 02-20 runway, the airport's north-south landing strip.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Aaron Sauer says the plane, a 2004 Cirrus SR22, had reportedly been on an instructional flight and was performing touch-and-go maneuvers when it went down.

"We investigate man, machine, and environment. The 'man' being the two occupants on board - their experience, their training, particularly what they were doing on that flight; the 'machine' being the aircraft - we'll take a look at the maintenance records, any history on that aircraft, and airworthiness directives and service bulletins associated with that aircraft; the 'environment' being the weather conditions - the weather conditions reported were fairly good: clear skies, minimal winds."

Sauer says while there is no "black box" on this particular plane, there are some devices that can be analyzed. Those avionics, he says, were damaged in the crash but will be sent to Washington for further testing.

The NTSB investigation is expected to release some preliminary results in about a week, while the final analysis and report won't be done for at least six months.

The airport closed runway 02-20 after the crash, though the east-west runway remained open. Director Kimmel says the north-south runway will remain closed until the debris from the crash is recovered, and the area has been inspected and declared safe.

Original article can be found here:

MARION, Ill. -  The Williamson County, Illinois deputy coroner tells us John Alleman, 54, of Carbondale died in a Friday night plane crash at the Williamson County Airport.

Todd Greiner, 64, from West Frankfort was also in the plane.  He was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital in critical condition.

The NTSB says the plane was performing a touch and go exercise when the plane skidded off the runway.  The airport closed the north and south portions of the runway.  The east and west portions of the runway remain open. 

The NTSB is removing the plane this afternoon and are reviewing the plane's records.

Autopsy and toxicology reports on being done on Alleman.

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