Federal investigators found that a small plane had flipped over before a nighttime crash into a northern Illinois farm field, killing a Chicago-area activist in late 2016.
The National Transportation Safety Board's findings don't give a cause for the crash that killed pilot Rob Sherman since it found no evidence of a plane malfunction during flight. The Chicago Tribune reports an investigator suggests Sherman might have become disoriented before the plane hit the ground near Marengo.
The 63-year-old from Poplar Grove was one of the better-known atheists in the country and an activist for keeping religious and government affairs separate.
Investigators say Sherman's sport pilot's license didn't authorize him to fly at night. He was flying from Poplar Grove to the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg when the crash happened.