Small plane lands on main Chicago freeway

John Pederson told the Chicago Sun-Times he was flying over the lakefront about 6 a.m. when an elevator on his experimental plane broke, causing the aircraft to shake.

“I thought the plane was going to break apart,” he said.

He landed in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park, authorities said.

“There’s always a risk. I always look for a place to land,” said Pederson, who’s been a pilot for five years.

Chicago police said no one was injured. Traffic on the iconic road along Lake Michigan was back to normal within a few hours, Chicago police spokesman Jose Estrada said.

Pederson, 51, of the Chicago suburb of Lombard, said two cars hit the plane’s left wing after he landed but drove off. The plane was later pushed off the roadway into a grassy area.

“This could have been fatal, been much worse. The toughest thing now is getting it out of here,” Chicago Police Sgt. Craig Roberts told the newspaper. Authorities said Pederson won’t be issued a citation.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the agency would investigate the accident, which would take several weeks. She said the plane’s point of departure and intended destination were still being determined.

FAA records show the plane, a RANS S-6 Coyote II, was built in 2003.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X