The pilot who had to make an emergency landing of his airplane on Lake Shore Drive Sunday morning is Lombard resident John Pedersen, according to media reports.
The 51-year-old had to make a split-second decision to land on the Drive after the plane developed mechanical problems, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. He told the paper he "thought the plane was going to break apart."
Pedersen, who was uninjured in the ordeal, landed the plane in the northbound lanes near Jackson after it began "shaking violently" when the stabilizer broke, according to the paper.
The sight of an airplane parked on the grass near Buckingham Fountain, where it had been moved, was quite a spectacle for passers by, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.
Pedersen, who said he has been flying for about five years, was in good spirits Sunday and said he isn't going to let the incident keep him grounded.
"My aviation career ends when they put me in a box in the ground," he told the Sun-Times.
Hear Pedersen describe exactly what happened in the attached video. "It was a safe landing," he said.