2 Illinois men die in plane crash near Canton

Thursday, August 30, 2012 | 1:15 p.m. CDT

CANTON — Authorities are investigating the crash of a small plane in northeast Missouri that killed both men on board.

Lewis County authorities identified the victims Thursday as 74-year-old John R. Johnson, of Carbondale, Ill., and 47-year-old Carl S. Maiden, of DuQuoin, Ill.

The crash happened at about 6 p.m. Wednesday a few miles from Canton. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said the agency is trying to determine the cause of the crash. It wasn't clear who was flying the plane. There was no rain or adverse weather at the time of the accident.

Molinaro said the 1956 multi-engine Piper Apache plane did not have a flight plan. Relatives of the victims told the Missouri State Highway Patrol that the plane took off from an airport in Pinckneyville, Ill., and was en route to an antique air show in Blakesburg, Iowa.

Canton, a small Mississippi River town, is about 30 miles south of the Iowa border. The crash site is about 10 miles from Lewis County Regional Airport, but authorities weren't sure if the plane was attempting to get there to land.

Though the FAA is investigating, Molinaro said information will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board, which will determine the cause of the crash.