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Illinois man lands plane while having a heart attack

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The 64-year-old pilot of an experimental plane was flying around, testing the aircraft, near his home in Hebron, Illinois when he suddenly had a heart attack.

The pilot, Steven R. Nusbaum, had built the plane himself and was flying it around near his home which is located in Hebron, Illlinois. Hebron is within 100 miles of Chicago, in far northern Illinois, near the border with Wisconsin. The town itself is very small, with only about 1,200 residents.

According to Chicago media reports, Nusbaum was flying while his son was monitoring radio transmissions and the airplane’s systems from the ground. Things seemed to be going fine for most of the flight. Then, suddenly, Nusbaum reported to his son that he thought he was having a heart attack. The entire incident took place at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Nusbaum felt that he could not make it to an airport or landing field and needed to get down right away. Since most of the area around Hebron is rural farmland, he picked the nearest field and set the plane down. Emergency services were called and Nusbaum was given CPR and transferred to a nearby hospital.

Nusbaum’s son told the media that he was the first at the scene and he found his father lying back on the seat of his plane. The pilot was taken to Centrega Northern Illinois Medical Center for treatment. He was reported to be in critical, but stable, condition as of Wednesday morning.

In keeping with the rules of aviation, the NTSB was called about the incident. The plane was not damaged in the emergency landing and no other people were hurt.

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