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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Small Plane Safely Lands On Lake Shore Drive After It Flies Under 35th Street Bridge

There were no injuries reported in the Friday afternoon mishap. "If only there was a nearby airstrip by the lakefront," joked one commenter.

A small plane landed on Lake Shore Drive Friday afternoon near 38th Street, officials said.
Chicago Fire Department
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CHICAGO — A small plane experiencing mechanical problems landed on Lake Shore Drive Friday afternoon, coming to a rest at 38th Street.

The Chicago Fire Dept. tweeted pictures of the blue plane with bright yellow wings. The plane came to a rest in the southbound lanes, snarling traffic leaving the Loop.

The small aircraft landed on the 3800 block of South Lake Shore Drive, said Officer Michelle Tannehill, a Chicago Police spokesperson. The plane flew under the 35th Street bridge before it made the landing, police confirmed. 

Neither the pilot nor his passenger were hurt. The plane was reportedly experiencing mechanical problems, forcing the pilot to find a safe stretch.

It’s not the first time a plane was forced to land on the lakefront highway. In 2013, a pilot experiencing mechanical problems safely landed near Grant Park.

“If only there was a nearby airstrip by the lakefront,” joked one Block Club Chicago commenter on Facebook, a nod to former Mayor Daley’s post-midnight destruction of the old Meigs Field airport in 2003, not far from Friday’s mishap. Daley had crews carve large “X’s” into the runways so planes couldn’t land. He then turned the airstrip into Northerly Island years later.

Craig Newman and his son were driving north on Lake Shore Drive Friday afternoon and saw the aftermath of the landing.

“I saw blue lights flashing and slowed down. Then I said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s a plane,’ ” he said. “‘Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?’ That’ll stop you.”

He, too, immediately thought of Meigs Field, joking: “Are they going to start putting big ‘X’s’ into South Lake Shore now?”

Video by Sarah Gardiner