WHEELING, Ill. — Two pilots on their way to Wisconsin were forced to make an emergency landing at the Chicago Executive Airport Wednesday afternoon after the plane's nose gear malfunctioned.
Vartan Seferian was piloting the Cessna, climbing just above 2,000 feet when he tried to put the front landing ear up and "heard a pop." With more than 30 years of experience between them, both pilots knew the sound was unusual.
"Vartan quickly figured out it was the gear, we tried to troubleshoot it," passenger Howard Norber said.
After realizing the extent of the problem, they knew they would need to land. Seferian said the "tower was amazing" as they connected with air traffic control at Chicago Executive Airport and worked to troubleshoot the situation. He decided to fly around the airport and burn some fuel before attempting to land.
Video captures the dramatic moment the plane came in for a landing, touching down on two wheels before the nose gear collapses, and the plane eventually comes to a full stop. As soon as they could, Seferian and Norber scrambled out of the plane and walked to safety.
"It was a picture perfect emergency landing in the end, and we walked away without a scratch," Norber said.
Believe it or not, it was actually Seferian's second plane crash. Six years ago he crash landed in Lansing, MI, and walked away from that crash as well. While his wife Barb said she wishes he would stop flying, she knew what happened was a mechanical error, and the choice is up to him.
"I think it’s a miracle that you can crash land an airplane and walk out, what are the odds of that?" Seferian said.