By Mark Konkol
Last Modified: Dec 23, 2010 05:49AM
One person died and another was injured Wednesday when the small plane they were in crashed shortly after taking off from Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling.
About 3 p.m., the pilot of the Beechcraft single-engine plane reported a rough-running engine and requested to return to the airport. On the way back to the runway, the engine apparently died and the plane crashed in a parking lot 1/2 mile away near Wolf and Hintz roads, authorities said.
The crash victims have not been identified. The injured man suffered serious burns and multiple fractures and was airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said. Wheeling Fire Chief Keith MacIsaac said the man was conscious and alert after the crash.
The plane is owned by Ronald Kesinger of Jacksonville, Ill., according to the FAA. It was unclear if Kesinger was aboard the plane at the time of the crash, authorities said.
Jeff Patton, who works in shipping and receiving for Accellent Inc. at 140 E. Hintz Road, was in a truck outside the business when he heard a loud pop and then turned to see flames rising.
“I couldn’t tell what it was. The flames were so high, and it was so brightly burning,” Patton said.
Patton went into the Accellent building and told employees to evacuate the building.
“We saw the wings of the plane and two cars burning,” Patton said.
He said a couple of people moved their cars to keep the fire from spreading to them.
Martin Seay, executive secretary for the village of Wheeling, said after the plane turned around to return to the airport, it clipped a manufacturing building on Acco Plaza Drive, on the northwest corner of Hintz and Wolf roads, and crashed into the parking lot.
MacIsaac said the roof of the building sustained only minor damage.
He said the airport plans to release more information to the media Thursday.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media, Irv Leavitt and Tony Solano