Investigation of Aug. 26 plane crash in Stephenson County continues, pilot in critical condition

August 29, 2011

Online Staff Report

PECATONICA, Ill. — Illinois State Police District 16 Troopers continue to investigate an airplane crash that occurred Aug. 26 at approximately 12:59 p.m.

A Dromader M-18 crop-dusting aircraft crashed after taking off from Albertus Airport in Freeport.

The plane was en route to the Leaf River, Ill., area loaded with 3,700 pounds of fertilizer/seed mix. The cargo has been determined to be a non-hazardous material.

The aircraft was fully fueled at 300 gallons, and it crashed in a cornfield approximately 175 yards south of Borchers Road and 70 yards east of Baileyville Road.

The aircraft overturned and caught fire, with the pilot in it. The pilot was the sole occupant of the aircraft.

The pilot, David Scott Sheppard, 55, of Lake Forest, Ill., was flown by REACT Helicopter to Rockford Memorial Hospital. Sheppard was transferred to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Wis., where he is currently listed in critical condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also conducting an investigation.

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