Pilot charged in suburban plane crash

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November 17, 2008 9:26:02 AM PST
The pilot of a small plane that crashed in the western suburbs on Sunday is charged with operating an aircraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The pilot, Sean Oskvarek, received minor injuries in the crash on Sunday. No one else was hurt.

Oskvarek was taken into custody and charged with operating an aircraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Before the single engine Cessna ended up in a family's backyard, it flew through trees, power lines, phone lines and two homes.

Patricia McClain saw the whole thing unfold from her family room.

"I was on the first floor. It drops like this. He somehow revs up the engine and boom, lights cut, and I'm like, 'He didn't make the runway. Hhe didn't make the runway,'" McClain said.

The McClain's called 911, but even though emergency responders were there within minutes, when they arrived, the pilot was already gone. Investigators believe he simply walked away from the wreckage and drove himself home. That is where police found him.

Oskvarek, 45, of Woodrige was treated for minor injuries and then arrested. He has been charged with operating an aircraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is a class-three felony. Fortunately, no one else was injured in the crash.

Oskvarek's plane was aiming for a private airstrip inside the Brookeridge subdivision. Sixty to seventy planes are based there, including Oskvarek's.

A man responsible for running the airport says this weekend's crash was the first major incident they have had.

"There've been a few [accidents], mostly fender benders, a couple of runoffs off the runway," said Board of Directors Bob Siegfried. "We have a good operation, and we're quite proud of it. It does have a lighted runway, and weather conditions were fine. We have no idea the problem that caused this accident."

Oskvarek was taken to the DuPage County jail and held for $100,000 bond. His next court date is December 22.

The FAA continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.


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