Friday, May 14, 2021

Beechcraft B24R Sierra 200, N9199S: Accident occurred May 13, 2021 near Lewis University Airport (KLOT), Joliet, Will 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.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Plaines, Illinois

Location: New Lenox, IL 
Accident Number: CEN21LA219
Date & Time: May 13, 2021, 11:17 Local
Registration: N9199S
Aircraft: Beech B24R
Injuries: 3 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 13, 2021, at 1117 central daylight time, a Beech B24R airplane, N9199S, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near New Lenox, Illinois. The pilot and 2 passengers were seriously injured, and 1 passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast data revealed the airplane departed from runway 2 at Lewis University Airport (LOT) at 1111. After takeoff, the pilot proceeded on a southeast course. The final data point was recorded at 1117.

The pilot stated that the pre-flight inspection was unremarkable, and the engine started without hesitation. The before takeoff run-up was “smooth” with no issues noted. The takeoff and initial climb out were normal. During the climb, the engine speed “suddenly dipped down” to about 1,300 rpm without any warning. His efforts to restore full power were not successful and he executed a forced landing to an interstate highway. The landing gear was extended once a landing was assured. However, on short final, he slowed the airplane to avoid a semitruck on the highway resulting in a hard landing and landing gear collapse.

The airplane landed on the southbound traffic lanes of I-355 about 1/2 mile north of the Route 6/Maple Road overpass and came to rest adjacent to the center median barrier wall. The left wing was damaged consistent with contact to the wall, and the engine and firewall were dislocated consistent with impact forces during the landing. 

Postaccident airframe and engine examinations are planned.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N9199S
Model/Series: B24R 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
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: LOT,679 ft msl 
Observation Time: 11:16 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5.87 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.42 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Romeoville, IL (LOT)
Destination: Indianapolis, IN (EYE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 41.5524,-87.9806

Kirstyn McKim

NEW LENOX, Illinois - A small plane made an emergency landing on I-355 Thursday morning near New Lenox.

The Beechcraft B24R Sierra 200 landed in the southbound lanes of I-355 due to "unknown" mechanical issues, Illinois State Police said.

Four passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the landing.

The passengers, a 15-year-old girl and two women, 19 and 20, were taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for evaluation, state police said. The pilot, 39, was also taken to the same hospital for neck pain.

Michele McKim and Tom Sanford’s 19-year-old daughter Kirstyn was one of four people on board.

"She said she just closed her eyes and hoped for the best," McKim said.

"Hugged her best friend and told her she loved her," Sanford added.

The plane took off from Lewis University Airport. The plane was in the air for about five minutes, according to FlightAware, which tracks flights.

"Unreal. I took a drive and saw the plane. It’s just, that he could land like he did. He’s a hero," Sanford said.

"He definitely saved all their lives, that’s for sure," McKim said.

The pair says the pilot is a family friend who also brought along his 20 and 15-year-old daughters. The group was headed for a day trip to Indianapolis for lunch and planned to return in the evening.

The 15-year-old girl was not seriously hurt. The other three all suffered spine and back injuries.

"She’s in a lot of pain," the parents said. "She has a broken back. Going to take some time to figure it out with the specialist."

Both the Illinois state police and NTSB are investigating.

"Very thankful. She definitely had somebody looking over her. All four of them. They’re all lucky to be alive," the parents said.

All southbound lanes of I-355 reopened about 3:30 p.m.

FAA records show the plane is owned by Prestige Worldwide Aviation, which flies out of Lewis. A manager reached by phone declined to comment.

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