Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ercoupe 415-D, N94070: Fatal accident occurred June 24, 2018 near Monmouth Municipal Airport (C66), Warren County, Illinois

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Monmouth, IL
Accident Number: CEN18FA235
Date & Time: 06/24/2018, 1115 CDT
Registration: N94070
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415 D
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 24, 2018, about 1115 central daylight time, an Ercoupe 415-D airplane, N94070, impacted terrain near Monmouth Municipal Airport (C66), Monmouth, Illinois. The two private rated pilots were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under to provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the flight and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight departed Galesburg Municipal Airport (GBG) Galesburg, Illinois, at 1049.

Airport surveillance video from GBG revealed that the airplane taxied from the hangar area toward the end of runway 21 at 1044. The airplane then taxied along the parallel taxiway to the first intersection where it made a left 180° turn and continued to taxi back to the end of runway 21. The airplane departed runway 21 at 1049.

A preliminary review of the radar data revealed that the airplane traveled west after departure from GBG. The radar track showed the airplane made several turns and continued west. The final radar target was recorded 2.17 miles south-southwest of the accident site (figure 1).

Figure 1 – Radar Track

Two witnesses, who were 0.5 miles northeast of C66, stated that the airplane was traveling east to west and flew very low over their house. They added that since they live near this airport they are very used to hearing normal engine sounds and this engine did not sound normal since the engine was sputtering and backfiring. They stated that the airplane flew about 30 ft above them, made a steep left bank toward south, then impacted the ground in a wooded area (figure 2). After impact the airplane burst into flames. They both ran to the accident site to provide assistance but were unable to help due to the fire an extreme heat.

Another witness, who was on a golf course about 0.3 miles south of the accident site, described the airplane and stated that he observed it flying south to north about 1100. He stated that "the engine sounded like it was missing and not flying smoothly." He added that the airplane continued north behind trees which obstructed his view, but he listened to the engine sound for another 15 to 30 seconds, when he "heard the engine rev higher."

Figure 2 – Accident Site

A postaccident examination of the airframe revealed that the fuselage was consumed by fire. The empennage remained intact with minor impact damage and fire damage at the rear fuselage area. The metal structure of both wings remained mostly intact and the fabric covering was consumed by fire. The two wing fuel tanks and the header fuel tank were consumed by fire. The header tank fuel quantity gauge was found in the debris path and the metal rod was bent near the cork end. The elevator and rudder control cables remained intact and were continuous from the cockpit to the control surfaces. The aileron control tubes and associated hardware were intact from the ailerons, through the wing, to the fuselage; both aileron control tubes were fractured and bent near the fuselage.

The engine came to rest inverted and remained attached to the engine mounts and the firewall. The two-blade, fixed-pitch propeller was attached to the crankshaft; one blade was bent aft about mid-span and the other blade was straight with minimal damage. Neither propeller blade exhibited leading edge damage or chordwise scratches. The propeller was rotated by hand and engine continuity was confirmed through the valve train and rear accessory section; the cylinders exhibited suction and compression with the top spark plugs removed. The carburetor was found resting on the engine and sustained fire and impact damage. The throttle cable remained attached to the throttle control arm. The mixture control cable was loose from mixture control arm and was found immediately next to the carburetor. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ERCOUPE
Registration: N94070
Model/Series: 415 D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GBG, 804 ft msl
Observation Time: 1115 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Monmouth, IL (C66)
Destination: Monmouth, IL (C66)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  40.938611, -90.623056 (est)

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 

Robert V. Burkhart

Roger D. Lundeen

Roger D. Lundeen, 72, of Galesburg, died Sunday, June 24, 2018 in Monmouth.

He was born September 15, 1945, in Galesburg, the son of Clifford A. and Doris L. (Painter) Lundeen.  He married Beverly J. Cavett April 17, 1982, in Macomb.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Beverly; a daughter, Traci Lundeen of Macomb; a son, Justin Lundeen of Galesburg; a granddaughter, Shannon Lundeen; a great-granddaughter, Chade; a brother, Larry (Jackie) Lundeen of West Columbia, South Carolina; and two nephews, Jeff and Kevin Lundeen.  His parents preceded him in death.

Roger worked in the carpenter shop at Butler Manufacturing Company from 1965 to 2005.  After being retired for five years, he started working for Coach House Garages as their district salesman, in 2010, a position that he still held.  He graduated from Abingdon High School in 1964.

Roger enjoyed planes and had his pilot’s license.  He also enjoyed radio-controlled models, collecting and working on clocks, and photography.

Visitation will be noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 2, 2018 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Galesburg Chapel.  Funeral service will follow at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. Jim Ecklund officiating.  Burial will be in East Linwood Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Knox County Humane Society.  Online condolences may be made at

Robert "Bob" V. Burkhart

Robert V. “Bob” Burkhart, 65, of Peoria, IL passed away on Sunday, June 24, 2018 due to an airplane crash in Monmouth, IL.  He was born on November 4, 1952 in Barnesville, OH to Francis and Doris Lou (Martin) Burkhart.  He married Judith Ann Hoag Fritz on December 9, 2006 in Peoria, IL.

Surviving are his wife Judy of Peoria; sons Benjamin Burkhart of Chicago, Timothy (Nicole) Burkhart of Germantown Hills, and Daniel Burkhart of Normal, IL; daughters Hilary (Ricardo Loera) Fritz of Zellwood, FL and Jessica Fritz of Wataga, IL; grandchildren Easton, Jake, and Chandler Burkhart; brother Max (Kathy) Burkhart of Barnesville, OH; and one niece and one nephew.  He was preceded in death by his parents and step-son Benjamin Fritz.

Bob graduated from the first Physician Assistant program from Yale. He was a Physician Assistant at CT Assist in Decatur, IL where he specialized in cardiothoraic surgery. Bob was a gentle, kind-hearted soul with an open heart. He was always there as a husband, father, Papa, colleague, and friend. But his favorite title was being a Papa to his three grandkids. He was an avid pilot, flying for over 30 years. He enjoyed going to fly in breakfasts and air shows.  Bob loved metal detecting and all things academia and was a passionate lifelong learner. He loved to grill and was always ready with a homemade dessert. He will be missed by the many lives he touched. 

Cremation rites have been accorded.  A Memorial Visitation will be held from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at Mason Funeral Home Germantown Hills.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to an Educational Fund for his grandchildren through CEFCU.  Online condolences at

PEORIA — Two pilots, one from Peoria and the other from Galesburg, were killed Sunday morning in a plane crash near the Monmouth Municipal Airport, Warren County Coroner Al McGuire said Monday.

Robert V. Burkhart, 65, of Peoria and Roger D. Lundeen, 72, of Galesburg were pronounced dead at the scene at 11:35 a.m., McGuire said. Autopsy results indicated both died from injuries in the crash.

The plane crashed about 11:10 a.m. in a wooded area just north of Monmouth and about half a mile north of the Monmouth Municipal Airport, McGuire said.

“Both of them were pilots, and we’re not sure who was flying the plane,” McGuire said.

According to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, eyewitnesses described hearing a plane engine sputtering late Sunday morning. The plane was coming in low before it banked hard and crashed, and witnesses heard an explosion. Witnesses directed first responders to a brush area where a fire crew extinguished the burning aircraft.

Burkhart was the registered owner of the fixed wing, single-engine plane, a model 415-D manufactured in 1946, according to the Federal Aviation Administration registry.

“Mr. Burkhart lived in Peoria, but his plane was hangared in Galesburg,” McGuire said.

McGuire said he did not know where the plane had taken off from or where it was headed, but he thought the men might have attended a fly-in/drive-in pancake breakfast and open house Sunday morning at the Macomb Municipal Airport.

Macomb airport manager Lee Cobb said he could not confirm they had come to the fly-in.

“When pilots fly in they are told to go to the registration desk and register. Then they get a free breakfast. We have no record of them doing that,” he said.

In addition to McGuire’s office, agencies investigating the crash are the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here ➤

MONMOUTH — The two people killed Sunday morning in a plane crash near the Monmouth Municipal Airport were men from Peoria and Galesburg, Warren County Coroner Al McGuire said Monday.

Robert V. Burkhart, 65, of Peoria and Roger D. Lundeen, 72, of Galesburg were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, McGuire said. Authorities said Sunday the crash was reported about 11:10 a.m. about half a mile northeast of the airport.

Burkhart was the registered owner of the fixed-wing, single-engine plane, a model 415-D manufactured in 1946, according to the Federal Aviation Administration registry.

McGuire said he believed the men had attended a fly-in/drive-in breakfast and open house Sunday at the Macomb Municipal Airport.

“My understanding is that they were in Macomb that morning,” McGuire said. “Mr. Burkhart lived in Peoria but his plane was hangared in Galesburg.”

When first responders arrived at the scene Sunday, witnesses directed them to a brush area where a fire crew extinguished the burning aircraft.

Burkhart and Lundeen were located on board the plane and were declared dead at the scene by McGuire. No one on the ground was injured. The matter was referred to the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation.

Eyewitnesses near the scene described hearing a plane engine sputtering late that morning. The plane was coming in low before it banked hard and crashed, and witnesses heard an explosion.

Personnel responding to the incident included the Alexis Fire Department, Alexis Ambulance, Gerlaw Fire Department, Warren Central Fire District, Monmouth Fire Department, Monmouth Police Department, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police.

The FAA began investigating the incident Monday morning.

(The Lundeen who died in the plane crash is not the same Roger Lundeen who is general manager of WGIL Radio.)

Original article can be found here ➤

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