Learjet Involved in Apparent Runway Excursion at Chicago Executive Airport Wednesday Night in Rainy Conditions

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Learjet in grass after landing on runway at Chicago Executive Airport in Prospect Heights / Wheeling, Illinois.

Police and firefighter/paramedics from Prospect Heights and Wheeling responded about 11:14 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, 2020 for an airport standby for a jet approaching at a Chicago Executive Airport runway.

The aircraft landed and went through a fence line before firefighters arrived. There were initially no reported injuries. A fuel leak was reported by 11:19 p.m.

Engine 23’s crew on arrival to the area discovered the aircraft at the fence near Wolf Road north of Messner Drive and south of Marquardt Drive.

Prospect Heights ARFF Crash Truck 39 positioned on Wolf Road directly in front of the nose of the aircraft, which damaged the fence but did not break through the fence..

There were seven passengers and two pilots on board the aircraft when the runway excursion occurred likely from Runway 30, which runs across Chicago Executive Airport from southeast to northwest — just south of the hangars on the west side of the airfield.

Initially firefighters were dispatched at about 11:14 p.m. to be on standby for a plane in distress, but the specific distress was not reported to firefighters. When the Learjet landed, it reportedly slid off the runway and hit a fence, while the wing struck a metal fence pole and caused aviation fuel to leak from the right wing.

The control tower’s Air Traffic Control services close at 10:00 p.m., so it was initially unclear how RED Center 9-1-1 and fire dispatch was notified about the aircraft incident. The dispatch was initially declared an “Airport Standby” and then the incident was reported as a taxi incident at the north end, and northwest part of the airport. Fire dispatch was told the aircraft was taxiing when it left pavement and hit the fence. Finally there was information that the aircraft ran off the end of the runway during landing.

It was unknown where the seven passengers sought shelter immediately after evacuating the aircraft into the bad weather conditions, but somehow all seven passengers left the airport in personal vehicles by 11:26 p.m. They were not evaluated by paramedics before they left.

If the aircraft did in fact run off the end of the runway, the runway used was likely Runway 30 because of the proximity to the crash scene. It is unknown why the pilot didn’t choose the larger Runway 16/34 in the poor weather conditions. Runway 16/34 is wider and longer, and safer than Runway 12/30. Besides wind was reported from the east, and a tailwind landing is not as safe, especially considering the weather conditions, which included light thunderstorms and downpours. There was moderate to heavy rain at the time of the crash.

Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK) – Open to the public 24 hours a day with three runway options

Runway 16/34 — 5,001-foot long by 150 foot wide precision runway served by an ILS to runway 16. Both ends of the runway are served by a four-light PAPI visual slope indicator and an Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS), 243 feet long by 170 feet wide at each end of the hard surface.

Runway 12/30 – 4,415 feet long by 75 feet wide served by a four-light PAPI visual slope indicator on both ends. The threshold of runway 12 is displaced 295 feet, while the runway 30 threshold is displaced 432 feet.

Runway 6/24 – 3,677 feet long by 50 feet wide. Only runway 6 includes a PAPI visual approach indicator. The threshold on runway 6 is displaced 372 feet, while the threshold on runway 24 is displaced 1,249 feet

According to Flightaware.com, the jet departed Cuyahoga County Airport in Ohio at 10:58 p.m. ET. The aircraft flew over northern Ohio, southern Michigan, and southern Lake Michigan before approaching the airspace at Chicago Executive Airport.

According to FAA records, the aircraft involved, FAA N-number N1128M, is a Learjet 60 manufactured in 2001. The registered owner is Super Star Jets LLC, 24733 Harbour View Drive in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Wolf Road was closed in both directions after the crash when firefighters secured the scene. Wolf Road re-opened during the recovery phase that removed the aircraft. Fries Automotive brought a crew of recovery trucks and specialists to remove the aircraft from the crash site. The crash site on airport property was cleared by about 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

The aircraft incident occurred less than 500 feet north of a fatal SUV crash with a box truck through Chicago Executive Airport fence that occurred on Wednesday morning, September 30, 2020.

Chicago Executive Airport Runway 30 runs diagonal toward the left margin, Runway 34 runs diagonal toward the top margin; red marker is crash site (Imagery ©2020 Google, Imagery ©2020 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2020)
Chicago Executive Airport Runway 30 runs diagonal toward the left margin, Runway 34 runs diagonal toward the top margin (Imagery ©2020 Google, Imagery ©2020 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2020).


The information in this article is an early report published before any summary information was confirmed or released by police or fire authorities.



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View of Learjet from north of runway excursion scene at Chicago Executive Airport in Prospect Heights and Wheeling.

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