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Pilot Killed After Cargo Plane Crashes Into Chicago Home

Chicago, Illinois 

A cargo plane crashed into a home near Chicago's Midway Airport early Tuesday morning, killing the pilot. The fatal crash happened just after 2:45 a.m. on the 6500 block of South Knox Avenue on the southwest side of Chicago.

Luz Cazares was asleep when she heard the sound of a loud crash outside her house. When she looked out her window, she saw the tail of a small plane sticking out of her neighbor's house. Cazares thought her neighbors were dead, but then she saw Raymond and Roberta Rolinskas standing right next to the wreckage. Miraculously, neither sustained injuries from the crash.

The twin engine cargo plane departed from Midway at 2:45 a.m. when the 47-year-old pilot, Eric Quentin Howlett, radioed the air traffic control tower saying he had an emergency. Controllers cleared Howlett to land on any of the runways, but instead watched the plane start to go down whilst attempting to return to the airport.

The 1964 Aero Commander plane crashed through the Rolinskases' roof into their living room, inches away from the bedroom where both were asleep. Tim Sorenson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) withheld comment on whether the plane lost power in one or both of the engines. According to the Chicago Tribune, NTSB officials are expected to look at issues such as fuel purity, low temperatures on engine performance and takeoff weight, among other things. The investigation is expected to take months.

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