The pilot of a small aircraft owned by a prominent atheist activist died when the plane crashed in a field in a suburb of Illinois.
Authorities are trying to determine the identity of the pilot after the wreckage was spotted at around 7:30am on Saturday morning in Marengo, according to NBC Chicago.
The plane, a home-built Zenair CH601, crashed in a field under ‘unknown circumstances,’ killing the pilot, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Authorities are scheduled to conduct an autopsy on the body on Monday.
The plane was owned by Rob Sherman, a well-known atheist activist.
Sherman ran as the Green Party candidate for Illinois’ 5th Congressional District this year.
In 2012, he was the party’s chairman in Cook County, which encompasses Chicago and its environs.
In 2008, he ran for the state’s 53rd Congressional District, according to his website.
Sherman is known for his extensive work as an advocate for separation of church and state.
WBBM-TV is reporting that Sherman was flying his plane last night and that he never made it to an event at Schaumburg Airport, which is about 40 miles away from the site of the crash.
The CH 601 is an ultralight aircraft that is flown for personal use as well as for training pilots.
It has a top speed of 135mph and can reach a maximum altitude of 12,000 feet.