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Updated 07/22/12 – 5:56 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A small experimental airplane flipped over on its roof while making an emergency landing along the lakefront on the Far South Side on Sunday.
CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports the pilot was the only one inside the plane at the time of the crash landing. He was conscious and standing outside the plane when emergency crews arrived at the scene.
Authorities said the man had been flying a single-engine, fixed-wing plane from Oshkosh, Wis., to Benton Harbor, Mich., when he apparently began experiencing engine trouble around 1:30 p.m.
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Witnessess of the crash said they heard the plane’s engine sputter, and looked as if it was going to land in Lake Michigan.
The pilot tried to make an emergency landing near 93rd Street and the lakefront in a dry, marshy area along Lake Michigan, when the plane’s nose dug into the ground, and the aircraft flipped onto its roof.
Eyewitness Art Cori said, “I looked up, and ran towards it, and I seen it. It kind of hit the ground, and went over maybe several yards, and then it just flipped over about three or four times, nose to tail. The minute I saw that I said I’ll call 911.”
The pilot was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair to serious condition, with a head injury, officials said.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the cause of the crash.
According to FAA records, the plane is owned by William Yamokoski, 63, of St. Joseph, Mich. It was not immediately clear if Yamokoski was the one flying the plane Sunday.