Plans to offer flights from Rockford to southwest Florida have fallen through. Chicago-Rockford International Airport director Mike Dunn announced Wednesday that after long and intense negotiations, the airport will NOT be able to provide service to Fort Myers this travel season.
A Will County man who took off from the DeKalb airport en route to Rockford was killed shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed in a farm field at 19164 Crill Road near Monroe Center.
UPDATE: As of Tuesday night, the Ogle County Coroner had not released the man's name, but both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times cite people close to the pilot who identify him as Tom Plodzien, resident of Meadow Creek Airpark, outside of Monee. Records list Plodzien, 77, as the owner of the plane.
Earlier in the day, WNIJ's Mike Moen reported from the scene that authorities were preventing onlookers and reporters from getting close to the crash itself, which was obscured by the corn crop. He said a helicopter hovered above the site and an ambulance was near the actual crash, but he was unable to see specifically what was happening.