Homebuilt plane crashes in northern Illinois, killing the pilot

MARENGO -- Investigators are trying to determine why a homebuilt single engine plane crashed in Marengo, IL Saturday morning, killing the pilot.

FAA officials said the homebuilt Zenair CH601 crashed under unknown circumstances into a cornfield near Meyer and Pleasant Grove Rd., killing the pilot, who was the only person on board. Local officials believe it may have gone down overnight, but it wasn’t spotted until around 7 a.m. Saturday.

The McHenry County Coroner’s Office said they have not yet identified the victim, and an autopsy will be performed Monday morning.

Records show the plane was registered to Chicago businessman Rob Sherman. He is an atheist activist known for his court battles dealing with the separation of church and state. He's run for a number of political offices and has hosted radio and TV shows.

The NTSB is now investigating the crash, and documented the scene before removing the wreckage as the snow moved in. The NTSB is working with the FAA to check for any air traffic control communications or radar data from this aircraft before it went down.