Early video with firefighter operations after a helicopter crashed on Milwaukee Avenue south of Palatine Road Prospect Heights — including removal for towing. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Police, firefighters and paramedics from Prospect Heights and Wheeling responded about 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 11, 2021 to a report of a helicopter crash landing incident just south of Chicago Executive Airport in Prospect Heights and Wheeling.
Police and firefighters on arrival discovered a helicopter on the right side in the northbound lanes of Milwaukee Avenue at the intersection with Apple Drive in Prospect Heights. The pilot had already exited the helicopter.
Police, firefighters, and paramedics discovered that the pilot was the only occupant of the helicopter, and that he made an emergency landing after the helicopter had mechanical problems. The pilot, identified as 35-year-old Ovidiu Astalus of Niles, was transported to a nearby hospital by Wheeling Fire Department paramedics. He suffered a dislocated shoulder and some cuts by his lower legs and ankles during the crash, but he was in good spirits after he was released from the hospital. Astalus said he has a God up there that was watching him, and that he was one of the luckiest ones.
There were no other injuries to anyone on the ground, and no vehicles in traffic were damaged.
Tuesday night, because of severe weather, Astalus had landed at Chicago Executive Airport instead of the company helipad in Morton Grove. He said he was about 250 feet in the air when the engine revved up and then stopped. He looked for a safe place to try to bring the failing helicopter down to the ground.
The helicopter — a 2021 Robinson R44 Raven II — is owned by Crown Point Truck & Trailer Repair. Wednesday morning Ovidiu Astalus intended to pilot the helicopter to a helipad at the Morton Grove headquarters for Crown Point Truck & Trailer Repair. Astalus had just lifted the helicopter from Chicago Executive Airport when the helicopter acted strangely. He brought it down to the northbound lanes, but in the process, a rotor blade hit a light pole and the helicopter tipped to the right side. The Robinson R44 Raven II was labeled with the web address crownpointrepair.com, a company logo, and the words “Morton Grove”.
Helicopter pilot Ovideau Ostalus called himself ‘lucky’ after crashing on Milwaukee Avenue at Apple Drive, just south of Chicago Executive Airport Wednesday morning. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Firefighters from Wheeling and Prospect Heights each responded with Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) trucks. The yellow Wheeling ARFF truck was positioned up close, and the red Prospect Heights ARFF truck was placed further back and north on Milwaukee Avenue. There was no fire, and there was no fuel leak.
A Chicago Fire Department officer also responded to the scene. He is believed to be involved in Airport Fueling Inspector operations or some other type of airport operations from O’Hare International airport, according to the the CFD signature 2-9-16 on the side of the white Ford F-150 pickup truck he drove.
The helicopter was towed away by Fries Towing and Recovery using a rotator crane and a flatbed truck. The helicopter tail was secured, and a rotator blade was cut by firefighters prior to removal of the wrecked aircraft from the scene at about 9:30 a.m.
Milwaukee Avenue was clear in both directions by 9:35 a.m.
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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