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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Fw: Christen Eagle bail-out near Ch ...


Thread: [Acro] Re: Fw: Christen Eagle bail-out near Ch ...

Message: [Acro] Re: Fw: Christen Eagle bail-out near Chicago - any details?

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: "Dave Walkup" <dwalkup at>

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 16:15:20 UTC


  From Chicago SunTimes:

Men parachute to safety as plane crashes

August 11, 2002


A quick-thinking pilot and his passenger parachuted to safety Saturday
morning when their small plane began having engine trouble over Kane County,
eventually slamming into a farm field.

Pilot Todd Ashcraft, 32, and his passenger, Ralph Helfer, suffered no more
than minor injuries in the mishap, authorities said.

The trouble began about 8:30 a.m., when Ashcraft radioed Aurora Airport that
his Christen Eagle II, a high-performance acrobatic biplane, was
experiencing engine trouble and he was going to make an emergency landing.

Shortly after, smoke poured into the cockpit and Ashcraft and Helfer decided
to parachute to safety. The plane crashed into a field northwest of OS582
Rowe Road in Kaneville Township, according to the Kane County sheriff's

The men were taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where it was determined
that Helfer, of the 2000 block of N. Hoyne in Chicago, didn't need
treatment. Ashcraft, who lives in the 2300 block of Goldenrod in Aurora, was
treated for minor injuries and released Saturday, said Karen Anderson, a
nursing supervisor at the hospital.

Anderson called the incident a miracle. "God was surely with them," she


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