Pilot of helicopter crash in Prospect Heights shares story with WGN News

Chicago News

PROSPECTS HEIGHTS, Ill.  — A helicopter crashed in Prospect Heights, just outside of Chicago Executive Airport, on Wednesday morning.

The Robinson R44 helicopter crashed around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday on northbound Milwaukee at Apple. The pilot has suffered minor injuries.

The 36-year-old pilot told WGN News the engine failed upon takeoff and he implemented emergency procedures which allowed him to do a running landing. The helicopter’s rotor hit a pole on the way down.

In an exclusive interview with WGN Reporter Glenn Marshall, Ovidiu Astalus said he has a dislocated shoulder and cut on his leg after the emergency landing. He said he was about 200 feet in the air when he noticed the engine failing in the helicopter, which he owns.

“I decided to do a running landing so I could slide under the stop lights, but one of the props hit a pole,” Astalus said.

He said it was quick thinking and lessons from an excellent helicopter instructor that helped save his life.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will investigate the crash.

The Chicago Executive Airport released the following statement:

A private helicopter that departed Chicago Executive Airport approximately 6:45 a.m. Wednesday crash landed shortly after on Milwaukee Avenue. The pilot was the only person onboard. Responding authorities report the pilot sustained minor injuries and was transported to Glenbrook Hospital. The airport was closed for a short time but has resumed normal operations.

The Prospect Heights Fire Protection District and the Wheeling Fire Department responded to the scene, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. The incident is under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Chicago Executive Airport

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