CHICAGO (CBS) — A small airplane slid off the end of a runway at Chicago Executive Airport in north suburban Wheeling early Tuesday.

Around 4:15 a.m., a medical cargo plane from Detroit landed at Chicago Executive Airport, and slid off the facility’s longest runway, airport spokesman Rob Mark said. The Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS), a bed of crushable material designed to stop planes that overshoot the runway, brought the plane to a halt.

“We just finished putting those in this year, and so this is the first time we’ve needed them, and obviously it’s a good thing we did, or that airplane would have ended up on Palatine Road,” Mark said.

Mark said the pilots of the plane had made a previous landing attempt, but aborted that landing before circling and trying again. It was not immediately clear why they aborted the first landing, but Mark said braking action on the runway was reported to be good at the time of the landing, and conditions should have been good enough to see the runway.

The two pilots were the only people on board the plane at the time. Neither pilot was injured, and the plane was not damaged.

Mark said the aircraft, a Falcon 20 cargo plane, was coming in from Detroit to pick up medical cargo, but no cargo was on board at the time.

“It was on the way in to the airport to pick up medical cargo,” Mark said. “We think it was an organ transplant, but we’re not absolutely positive yet.”

It was not immediately clear why the plane could not stop before reaching the end of the runway.

Mark said the plane wouldn’t be going anywhere while an investigation is conducted, and another plane will be needed to get the medical cargo to its destination.

The plane was able to come to a stop thanks to EMAS, a specialized stopping material.

“As the plane went into it, off the end of the runway it sank into the material and stopped it before it could enter Palatine Road,” said Jaime Abbott, executive director of the airport.

Stopping it from the road and who knows what. In 2005 at Midway, a Southwest plane overshot the runway, crushing a car and killing a child. Midway now has the same system, as does O’Hare.

It cost of $10 million dollars to put at both ends at the Chicago Executive Airport. Entities split the cost, and today it paid off.

“We put this system in hoping it would never have to be used, but it worked as advertised and we’re fortunate for that,” Abbott said.