Federal investigators say a plane that crashed in northeast Missouri, killing both men on board, hit a tree before crashing.  The victims of the Aug. 29, 2012, crash are 74-year-old John Johnson of Carbondale, Illinois and 47-year-old Carl Maiden of DuQuoin Illinois. The 1956 twin-engine Piper crashed a 4 ½ miles southwest of Canton.  The crash happened near Sunflower Road and 314 Avenue.
The crash report says a private pilot witnessed the plane passing overhead about six and a half miles from the crash site with the left propeller not rotating. Investigators say a maintenance error in the fuel system likely contributed to the engine problem.
The plane took off from Pinckneyville Illinois en route to a private airstrip at Blakesburg Iowa.
The NTSB says the probable cause of the accident was the 74-year-old pilot's decision to try to make a forced landing in a field with obstacles. The report says the plane hit a tree and that there were larger… more open fields further along the plane’s apparent route.