NTSB to begin investigation of fatal plane crash near Midway

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National Transportation Safety Board investigators hope to have a preliminary report out within a week or so on the crash of a small cargo plane into a home near Midway Airport.  The pilot of that plane, 47-year-old Eric Quentin Howlett, died in the crash.

"The aircraft is going to be relocated and secured overnight, then tomorrow we will begin a detailed examination of the airframe, then the engine then the propellers," said NTSB air safety investigator Tim Sorensen.

In addition to the equipment on the plane, NTSB investigators will look at the quality of fuel and what if any role the bitter temperatures could have played.

Sorensen said Howlett was on his way to Ohio State University carrying some form of medical samples.

After departing, Howlett reported engine problems and asked to return to Midway.

The Chicago Fire Department confirmed earlier Tuesday that the pilot died after his plane crashed into the home in the 6500 block of South Knox Avenue just before 3 a.m.

PHOTOS: Small plane crashes into home near Midway Airport

Two elderly residents in the home escaped uninjured. Fire officials say the crashing plane missed them by just 8 inches.

The plane crashed through the roof of the house and into the living room through to the basement.

There was no fire or explosion after the plane crashed. Although the wreckage was gushing aviation fuel in the minutes after the crash, firefighters quickly sprayed foam over the crash scene, knocking down combustible fumes before the wreckage could ignite.

The plane crashed approximately one-quarter mile off of Runway 31C.

 

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