CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago man said Thursday that his life has changed forever after he survived a small plane crash in Springfield last week.
“It’s a do-over,” businessman Everett Rand told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov on Thursday, a week after surviving a minor plane crash on Jan. 6.
Rand said that as the chartered plane was coming in for a landing, it began to shake, caught fire, then crash-landed at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.Rand, his brother Tim and two friends were on board at the time, along with two crew members. Only the two pilots were injured.
“Everyone was telling us ‘Get away, get away, it’s going to blow,” Rand said.
The plane was trying to land at the airport when it suddenly veered left, hit something, then caught fire before crash landing off the runway.
“We hit something … and the right wing sheared off,” Rand said. “We saw all that from inside the plane. … We had no idea where we were.”
Asked what was going through his mind at the time, Rand said, “We’re done.”
But they weren’t done. Everyone on board escaped the burning jet after the crash-landing.
“I look at everything differently. I have the proverbial do-over,” Rand said. “So, it’s a do-over … to do more than I’ve already done.”
Many in Chicago – like Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) – said that’s saying a lot. The brothers own a South Side distribution business in her ward but Austin said they’re better known for their fundraising and charitable contributions to the city.
Austin said the Rands are important to “a multitude of communities.”
The Rands organize the annual Chicago Football Classic, which funds scholarships to historical black colleges. They also sit on various boards and, for Everett Rand, improving education is a top priority.
It’s much more vital for him now.
“I believe that we were spared. I believe there’s another calling for all of us. I’m certain I’ll get that assignment, but right now I’m working my way up,” Everett Rand said.
One of his biggest missions now, he said, is the reinvention project at the City Colleges of Chicago, where he sits on the board.
The cause of the crash was still under investigation as of Thursday.