MARENGO, Ill. -- The pilot of a plane owned by a former Green Party candidate and activist died after it crashed in northwest suburban Marengo.
Fire crews were dispatched at 7:29 a.m. after someone spotted the wreckage of a single-engine plane in an area off of Meyer Road just north of Pleasant Grove Road, according to Marengo firefighter Joe Taylor.
The home-built Zenair CH601 small aircraft crashed in a field under "unknown circumstances" and the pilot was killed, according to FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro. The pilot was the only occupant.
McHenry County Coroner Anne L. Majewski confirmed that a man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, but he was not identified Saturday. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday morning.
The crash appeared to have occurred sometime between Friday night and early Saturday morning, Taylor said.
The tail number of the plane provided by the National Transportation Security Board, N4218, was the same as that of a plane shown in a photograph on the website of activist and atheism advocate Rob Sherman. The plane in the photograph is an orange, Zenair CH601 with his name stenciled on the side.
Sherman ran as a Green Party candidate for the state's 5th Congressional District this year and was the Cook County Green Party chairman in 2012.
Previously, Sherman ran for state representative of Illinois 53rd Congressional District in 2008, according to his website. He was also a well-known advocate for issues surrounding the separation of church and state and atheism.
According to his website, Sherman is an airplane construction engineer and builds light sport planes for revenue.
Attempts to reach Sherman by the Chicago Sun-Times were not successful.
The FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash.
The plane was in the process of being moved to a secure facility on Saturday ahead of a winter storm, Keith Holloway, a spokesman for NTSB said.
"It looks like the team may reconvene on Monday for further examination and documentation of the aircraft," Holloway said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2016.)