Plane makes emergency landing on Lake Shore Drive downtown - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Plane makes emergency landing on Lake Shore Drive downtown

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(Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times) (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times)
A Lombard pilot was unhurt when mechanical problems forced him to land his experimental single-engine plane on Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park Sunday morning. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times) A Lombard pilot was unhurt when mechanical problems forced him to land his experimental single-engine plane on Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park Sunday morning. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A pilot escaped unhurt after a mechanical problem forced him make an emergency landing on Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park Sunday morning.

John Pedersen, 51, said he a leisurely cruise over the lakefront flying east at 100 knots when one of the aircraft's elevators broke and the plane started shaking vigorously.

"I thought the plane was going to break apart, so I just had to put it down," said Pedersen, as he stood in a grassy area near the lakefront trail where police pushed the aircraft after the emergency landing.

The small single-engine airplane landed in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive near Jackson about 6 a.m., police and fire officials said. No one was hurt.

"There's always a risk. I always look for a place to land," said the Lombard resident and pilot of five years. "That's important. That's probably what saved my life today."

Two vehicles struck the aircraft's left wing after he landed but drove off, Pedersen said.

The experimental fixed-wing aircraft, a RANS S-6 Coyote II, was built in 2003, according to FAA records.

"This could have been fatal, been much worse. The toughest thing now is getting it out of here," said Chicago Police Sgt. Craig Roberts, one of many police and fire officials gathered at the lakefront Sunday morning.

Only one person was aboard the aircraft, and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating, spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.

Chicago police at the scene said no citations will be issued.

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