A Chicago plane crashed into a residential home early Tuesday morning not long after the pilot reported engine problems, according to reports. The residents of the home managed to escape unharmed, but the pilot died in the accident.
The plane was a twin engine Aero Commander 500-B. The pilot left Chicago Midway International Airport and was headed to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio when he reported engine problems. He began to head back to the airport, but with less than a quarter mile to go, his plane slammed into a red brick home, plunging into the basement.
The two elderly residents of the home were asleep at 2:40 a.m. when the crash occurred. They miraculouslu survived, and reports say that had they been any closer to the plane, they could have been seriously injured or killed. Instead, both were able to walk away from their largely destroyed home without requiring any medical attention.
"The wreckage was about 8 inches away from them," Assistant Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Michael Fox told the Associated Press. "It's very lucky. They were in a bedroom next to the living room and the living room is gone."
No other passengers were in the plane at the time of the crash, and although firefighters found aviation fuel leaking from the aircraft, no fire was present.
"So we're confident we're not dealing with any type of in-flight breakup or some scenario like that," said Tim Sorensen, a National Transportation Safety board investigator. The NTSB expects to have a preliminary report in a week and a full report a year from now.
The twin-engine plane was built in 1964 and was registered to Central Airlines Inc. of Fairway, Kansas, according to the FAA aircraft registry. They stated that they don't know if the plane was carrying any cargo, but they are cooperating with authorities during the investigation.