Search and Recovery Staging on River Road After Lear Jet Crash Into Des Plaines River (VIDEO)


Search with helicopters, then recovery operations — video of search and recovery operations out of staging area on River Road north of Euclid Avenue.

A crash site that was difficult to find.
A Lear jet on approach to Chicago Executive Airport (formerly Palwaukee Airport) crashed about 1:30 p.m. The crash site was not discovered until about 1:55 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with the help of news helicopters coordinating with the ground rescue crews.

There was no smoke, and no flames were visible from the crash, so rescuers were beginning to wonder if the plane hit the Des Plaines River. Paulie LaPointe a free lance videographer with Spot News Chicago arrived early on the scene. En route he called his contacts at the news stations, encouraged them not to hesitate to make their decision get up in the air, and soon helicopters from Shadow Traffic with Kris Habermehl aboard, and WLS-TV Channel 7 Chopper7HD were rushing to the scene. La Pointe’s instinct of the importance of getting the choppers out there to help locate the crash site turned out to be a true benefit in locating the crashed aircraft. Firefighters and police officers were looking for any hints of a crash — fuel film or oil spots in the river, a puff of smoke. Fuel film was reported, but the crash site was still not located. Some ground rescue crews were looking south of Euclid Avenue along the Des Plaines River. Then the choppers saw the wreckage about 30 minutes after the crash was reported, and hovered directly overhead so rescuers could trek in the direction of the helicopter. The wreckage was badly broken and split into two debris fields near the west bank of the Des Plaines River about one-quarter mile north of Euclid Avenue.

Video shows ABC7Chicago Chopper 7HD involved in the search. The Shadow Traffic helicopter (not shown in the video) was also involved in the search. Video also shows recovery operations out of the staging area on River Road.