LEARJET 35A CRASHES IN CHICAGO, 2 PILOTS KILLED

1/6/2010

Two pilots were killed Tuesday when their Learjet 35A crashed in a river shortly before landing at at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, Ill.

The small cargo jet was owned by Royal Air Freight Inc. of Waterford, Mich. Royal Air runs cargo and passenger charter flights with a fleet of 20 small jets, according to its Web site. It was founded in 1961 and has 30 pilots.

The aircraft was not carrying freight or passengers at the time of its crash, according to officials at the scene.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent an accident investigator to the scene late Tuesday afternoon. Video footage showed the mostly disintegrated fuselage partially submerged beneath the  Des Plaines River, about a mile short of the runway