BEDFORD PARK, Ill. (CBS) – Four people emerged safe Saturday evening after the small airplane they were on crash-landed in a field in southwest suburban Bedford Park.
Witnesses say it’s a miracle the people on board didn’t suffer any severe injuries. Emergency officials say the plane, which was headed to nearby Midway Airport, landed on the muddy, grassy surface of a water-retention area at 77th and Narragansett and flipped over.
One witness said the plane’s single engine stopped in mid-air shortly before landing attempt at 5:30 p.m.
“The propeller was moving just a bit –- it would stop and then go,” Julio Avina told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot near the scene. “It sounded like the motor went out. It was just silent. It was just gliding.”
Three people aboard were taken to the hospital with minor injuries; a fourth refused treatment. There were two adults and two teens on Cessna 172 fixed gear airplane.
The plane is registered to the address of a Chicago-based flight school. A man who answered the business telephone said the plane that landed belonged to the school. He declined further comment.
Bedford Park Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Hanson said the pilot likely saw occupied baseball fields and avoided them, instead choosing the muddy terrain where the plane ended up.
“Thank God that no one got seriously, seriously hurt, and whoever did fly that plane did land it the best they could,” witness Noreen LasCola said.
“It was very, very, scary.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.