Local Flight Instructors React to Chicago Area Plane Crash

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Even though the single engine plane was roughed up near Schaumburg, what could have been a horrific incident Sunday instead was a successful save.

"They did everything according to the training. They were trained to take care of these matters, and everything went well," Randall Harris said.

Poplar Grove Airport flight instructor Randall Harris says the pilots did the right thing - landing on the flat expressway, and away from congested neighborhoods. Although it's unknown exactly what happened in the cockpit, Harris is confident the two-man crew followed procedure - and didn't panic.

"Weather can change the mechanical nature of the airplane, can change anything, so you have to be ready for anything as a pilot," Harris said.

The flight instructors here at the Poplar Grove Airport say emergency landing situations are one of the focal points of the ground training before they even get up here on the airplane.

"No matter where you're training - be it California or Florida - that you learn how to deal with these emergency procedures before they happen, and you learn how to deal with those before you solo the airplane," Harris said.

The instructor emphasizes that Sunday's emergency landing is very rare, an incident which this time miraculously avoided death or serious injury.

"This does not happen very often. These airplanes are very reliable, more so than the cars we drive on the road," Harris said.

A surprise airplane landing which put valuable survival training into action.

Flight instructors at the Poplar Grove Airport tell 23 News that the single engine plane involved in Sunday’s emergency landing must complete required engine tests after every 100 hours of flight time. These planes get inspected about 10 times more each year than your average car.