Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III, N713MJ: Fatal accident occurred October 20, 2020 in Ford Heights, Cook County, Illinois

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greater Chicago, Illinois

Location: Ford Heights, IL
Accident Number: CEN21FA024
Date & Time: October 20, 2020, 17:10 Local 
Registration: N713MJ
Aircraft: Glasair III
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 20, 2020, about 1710 central daylight time, a Glasair III airplane, N713MJ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Ford Heights, Illinois. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Witnesses in the area reported seeing the airplane at a low altitude, impact a light pole and the road, before coming to rest among trees.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector and a National Transportation Safety Board investigator examined the wreckage at the accident site. The fuselage sustained substantial damage and separated from the wings. The right wing had leading edge damage consistent with the light pole impact, and the left wing sustained ground impact damage. The engine came to rest inverted but remained partially attached to the fuselage.

An initial review of the airplane’s flight track revealed the pilot departed from the Lansing Municipal Airport (IGQ) about 1645 and flew southwest before heading back to IGQ. The accident site was about 3 miles southwest of IGQ. The pilot was not in contact with air traffic control and no distress calls were heard.

The airplane and engine were recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Glasair Registration: N713MJ
Model/Series: III 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: IGO
Observation Time: 16:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C /5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 120°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3100 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Chicago, IL (KIGQ) 
Destination: Ford Heights, IL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.507801,-87.579052

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.
Lawrence Jagmin

FORD HEIGHTS, Illinois (WLS) -- A 70-year-old Frankfort man is dead after a small plane crashed in south suburban Ford Heights.

The aircraft crashed into a wooded area off of Lincoln Highway, just west of Illinois 394 about 5:09 p.m. Tuesday, according to Illinois State Police.

The pilot, a 70-year-old Frankfort man, underwent emergency surgery immediately after the incident at the University of Chicago hospital, sources said. He was seriously injured in the crash.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified him Wednesday morning as Lawrence Jagmin. The office said he died sometime Tuesday.

Jagmin was an experienced pilot and well-respected local dentist, remembered for his kindness.

Witnesses said the pilot told them the plane ran out of power, forcing an emergency landing on a road and then sliding onto the edge of a yard.

"It is really sad to hear what happened, such a tragic loss to the community," said Aliska Rice, who lives in the south suburbs.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Glasair III crashed under unknown circumstances. The aircraft struck a light pole and hit a vehicle on the ground before coming to rest on an embankment, the FAA said.

Flight records from Flight Aware show the plane took off at 4:44 p.m. Tuesday, crashing after less than 20 minutes of flight time.

Close friends said Jagmin stored his plane at the Lansing Airport and had been a pilot for more than 30 years.

The flight log showed the plane was traveling south at about 240 mph before suddenly turning west.

Jagmin's family is asking for privacy as they mourn the loss of a husband, father and new grandpa. He recently semi-retired from his dental practice to spend more time with his family.

"I just was referred to him by a coworker, and I heard he was a nice dentist, but I never got the chance to use his services," Rice said.

Jeff Whitlock, a witness in the area, said the plane came down on the shoulder of the road, and a wing of the plane ripped off when it hit the light pole. The smell of fuel filled the air, Whitlock said.

"I could hardly breathe. I mean, I'm like, it was like I thought I was having a heart attack when I got back in my car. When I was standing on the roadside, it was like my adrenaline was going, and I'm screaming to get a fire extinguisher," Whitlock said.

Another witness noticed the low-flying plane before the impact.

"I'm looking at him, and he's just coming in. He's like, just way too low. I was like, this can't be happening, so I guess he was trying to pull up," said Pep Garcia, another witness. "I just saw a big ball of smoke, and I was like, 'Oh my God. This just happened.'"

The northbound and southbound ramps to Lincoln Highway were closed at approximately 5:50 p.m. Tuesday for the investigation, state police said.

The plane wreckage remained on the side of the roadway Wednesday, and the ramps were expected to stay closed into late Wednesday morning, police said.

State police said the investigation is still underway. The FAA is also investigating.

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