A helicopter made an emergency landing in a football field in suburban Hanover Park Saturday just minutes before several players were set to take the field.
The helicopter landed around 11 a.m. Saturday in a field near Barrington Road and Route 19.
“As the helicopter was coming down they had no control over it and they were trying to land on a grassy area,” said witness and director of public relations for the Hanover Park Hurricanes Veronica Soto.
The helicopter is owned by Bachman Aero, which is based out of Schaumburg, officials said.
Chris Bachman, the owner of the company confirmed the helicopter made an emergency landing and no injuries were reported. He said the landing was “pretty basic.”
A village official said a pilot and one passenger were on the helicopter, described as a Hughes 269. The passenger had purchased a coupon for the ride, according to Deputy Mayor Rick Roberts.
Roberts said it appeared the aircraft had a busted oil seal, which forced the emergency landing.
Witnesses said fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene and the area was blocked off.
Some fear the incident could have been much worse.
“It was coming down regardless of anybody being on the field he would have hit,” Soto said. “Had it been 20 minutes later our 73-pound team would be on the field so we’re talking 6-year-olds.”
Ricky Bell, vice president of the Hanover Hurricanes, said he was on the field at the time and described the landing as “pretty crazy.”
“We saw it coming. We knew it was going to land on the field,” Bell said. “It was loud and it was coming quick. It literally bounced when it came down.”
Bell commended the pilot for landing as far away from people as possible.
The Hanover Park Hurricanes were set to host the Hurricane Bowl Saturday afternoon, a friendly match-up between several suburban teams.
The event was set to begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day.
Bell said the organization had to cancel the first two games of the event due to the helicopter landing and rain.
“We’re hoping that we can get [the helicopter] off [the field] and maintain our 2:30 and 4 p.m. games for today,” he said.
Bell said a mechanical crew was expected to come and remove the rotors from the helicopter so it could be towed, but officials later said the tow truck became stuck due to rainy conditions on the field.
Soto said the process has caused major damage to the field.
"This is going to ruin our season," she said. "We are very disappointed."
Photo Credit: Mike Lorber/NBCChicago