BELMONT An Illinois man died Friday evening when the home-built aircraft he piloted suffered a mechanical malfunction and crashed in central Belmont County, officials said.
Investigators plan to examine the body of Donald Cates, 56, St. Clair County, to determine if any medical conditions contributed to the crash.
According to reports, Cates was en route from Pennsylvania to Missouri in a 2004 Zodiac CH601XL when the aircraft crashed at 6:45 p.m., narrowly missing a residence and sending debris onto nearby Route 149.
Cates served as a volunteer pilot for Wings of Hope, a St. Louis, Missouri-based nonprofit humanitarian agency providing assistance to the poor. The aircraft was registered to the organization.
No injuries on the ground were reported.
The crash site is about six miles from Alderman Airport, southwest of St. Clairsville.
The Ohio Department of Transportation closed the roadway during the cleanup of debris.
The State Highway Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration and National
Transportation Safety Board are reportedly investigating the crash.