A pilot survived after his single-engine airplane crashed Thursday evening while attempting to land at Chicago Executive Airport in north suburban Wheeling.
The plane crashed in a wooded area more than a mile northeast of the airport, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said in a statement. The plane was attempting to land on runway 16.
The crash was reported about 8:43 p.m., according to the Wheeling Fire Department. Authorities found the plane about a quarter-mile into the woods south of Dundee Road near Portwine Road.
The pilot, a 74-year-old man, was alert and walked away from the crash on his own, according to the fire department. He was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where his condition was stabilized.
The plane initially took off from St. Louis at 2:33 p.m. and landed in Indianapolis at 4:57 p.m., according to Molinaro and flight records. It then took off from Indianapolis at 6:33 p.m. for its flight to Chicago Executive Airport.
The FAA sent investigators to the scene, Molinaro said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash, although it does not plan to send personnel to the scene, spokesman Keith Holloway said. The NTSB will work with FAA investigators and use their data and documentation to complete its report.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The plane, an Icon A5 light sport aircraft, is described by its manufacturer as an amphibious craft that seats two people. The aircraft also has its own parachute in case of emergencies. It was unclear if the pilot deployed it.