Cargo Learjet 35 Crashes on Approach to Chicago Exec

 - January 7, 2010, 11:12 AM

A Royal Air Freight Learjet 35 crashed into a river in a forest preserve on Tuesday afternoon while on approach to Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, Ill. The cargo-configured twinjet, N720RA, was destroyed when it went down about one mile from the airport, killing both the pilot and copilot. According to investigators, the crew was performing a circling approach to Runway 34 when the accident occurred. Wind was reported as 310 degrees and nine knots. Weather was reported as VMC, with 10 miles visibility and a broken cloud layer at 5,500 feet. The Learjet was not carrying cargo at the time of the crash; it was landing at Chicago Executive to pick up a cargo load. NTSB investigators are still on scene and the agency has not yet released a preliminary report. Investigators recovered the bodies of the pilots yesterday and are searching for the Learjet’s cockpit voice recorder.