Factual report released for deadly 2015 plane crash near Harrisb - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Factual report released for deadly 2015 plane crash near Harrisburg, IL

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: Derrion Henderson, KFVS) (Source: Derrion Henderson, KFVS)
(Source: Derrion Henderson, KFVS) (Source: Derrion Henderson, KFVS)
(Source: Derrion Henderson, KFVS) (Source: Derrion Henderson, KFVS)
HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

The National Transportation Safety Board released its factual report for a plane crash in August 2015 in Harrisburg, Illinois that killed a father and son.

According to the report the plane flew into weather. The NTSB also believe the moon was below the horizon at the time of the crash.

The NTSB reports they could not determine how much experience the pilot, Erich Snyder, had flying at night. His total experience as a pilot was also undetermined.

According to the NTSB, the pilot was not on a flight plan and was not in radio contact with any air traffic control center.

You can click here for the full factual report.

Pope County Sheriff Jerry Suits said the two victims, father and son, were Tommy Snyder, 59, of Zeigler, Ill., and Erich Snyder, 36, of Carterville, Ill.

Sheriff Suits said it took time to identify the bodies. He also said the Pope County coroner had been waiting to notify the family members.

He said he was told it was a leisure trip for the two men.

The Saline County Sheriff's Office, who also aided in the investigation, said the aircraft left from Marion, Ky. and was en route to Marion, Ill. when officials lost track of it.

Pope Co. Sheriff Jerry Suits said contact with the plane was lost some time during a storm.

He said the pilot sent his wife a text message around 8:55 p.m. on Sunday saying he was flying in rough weather and having trouble. The plane wasn't heard from again.

Officials say they first received reports of a possible plane crash early on Monday morning involving a single engine Cheetah Tiger, blue/white in color.

Officials were searching for evidence of a crash by ground and air, reportedly near the One Horse Gap area.

The search went of until about 2:30 a.m. by planes, horses and ATVs. Police said the forest canopy was making it extremely hard for searchers to find debris.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Aug. 10, while still looking for the plane, Sheriff Suits said they were doing their best, but having no luck.

The dense forest and rugged terrain slowed down the search for debris.

"It makes it very difficult of us," Sheriff Suits said about the search. "We've had planes in the air today, looking down. We're looking for anything and right now we're not finding it."

"I'm gonna tell you I'm not Superman, but I'm going to stay out here until we find that aircraft," he continued.

Crews focused the search in the Shawnee National Forest.

Deputies with multiple sheriff's departments and volunteers searched for more than 16 hours.

Officials say hikers found debris from the plane just after 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10 and called for help.

Members of the search crew identified the plane. They said it was in a ditch off of one of the main cliffs in Burden Falls in the Shawnee National Forest.

"The works not done," said Sheriff Jerry Suits. "We've got a big part of this completed, but the works not done here. We've got an incident, a scene here that we're going to have to clean up and we have the proper people here that's going to make that happen for us. We've still got to identify the bodies that was there."

The sheriff said he was happy to have found the plane, but he was hoping for better results.

"I'm very pleased about that," he said. "I think I said earlier that I wasn't pleased with my results, I'm now pleased with the results. As for the family, I'm sadden by it. I'm Pope County sheriff. It's not supposed to happen in my county, it can happen somewhere else, but don't happen here. So, that bothers me, but it got some closure now for the families and we're hoping to get there real quick for them."

Illinois State Police, Emergency Management personnel, and Forest Service personnel aided in the search.

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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