Officials say one pilot died Sunday morning when two small planes collided while flying to an air show. Event organizers say the planes were in a group of four, single-engine, home-built aircraft that were going to be put on display for the Illinois Valley Air show in Peru.
23 News has learned that the planes took off from the Poplar Grove Airport at around 8 a.m. Officials say that during the landing at about 8:45 a.m. one plane touched another, causing it to crash in a field north of the airport. Firefighters who responded to the accident say that when they got to the crashed plane the pilot, 55-year-old Christopher Good of West Bend, Wisconsin, was already dead.
President of American Air Shows Michael Maloney said, "I've been told that they flew over the airport in formation then came back around again, in formation, to land, and then they, ah, the formation obviously breaks up to, to land and it was at some point in there that’s when something happened. What happened, ah, we don't know yet."
Maloney says the accident is tragic and is being felt by everyone at the show. This did not cancel the show. He said the crash happened before any spectators were present.