Medical helicopter pilot hailed as hero

CHICAGO -- An air ambulance pilot is being hailed as a hero for his actions before a chopper crash over the weekend.

The chopper had four people, including one patient, on board when it went down near Interstate 57 Saturday around 9:15 p.m.

The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit, radioed mayday and then managed to land in a grassy area next to the road.

All four people survived the crash.

Experts say the pilot made all the right moves when he chose a place to set it down.

The patient was in critical condition before the crash and remains in that condition today.

The other three crew members all walked away and are expected to make full recoveries.