Helicopter Air-Lifts Stranded Bonanza Back to the Airport

  • Oct 16, 2015 4:34pm GMT

What's the quickest way to recover an airplane that had an off-field landing? Use a big helicopter, of course!

A Beech Bonanza experienced an engine failure shortly after takeoff from the DuPage Airport in West Chicago, Ill. The pilot made a perfect forced landing in a nearby bean field with no injuries and minimal damage to the airframe. The field was an excellent choice for an emergency landing, but it made for a difficult ground recovery using trucks or a trailer.

But why recover a plane on the ground when its so much cooler to fly it back? A Sikorsky S-58T which specializes in heavy-lifting was brought in to air-lift the airplane the short distance back to the airport. Every safety precaution was utilized in the hookup and recovery. The local police even stopped traffic on the crossing roads during the flight back.

The uneventful recovery flight to the maintenance hangar only took a few minutes but it probably turned a lot of heads for those not used to seeing an airplane dangling from a cable under a helicopter.

Not gonna lie, it was pretty cool.

UPDATE: I uploaded a video from the perspective of rescue pilot Jim Triggs, Chief Pilot at Midwest Helicopter Airways, Inc.