The wreckage of a single-engine plane has been removed from its crash site to another location at the Schaumburg Airport awaiting a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into what caused a fatal accident Monday afternoon.
William Borgstrom, a 66-year-old Chicago pilot, died after his two-seat 1946 Luscombe spiraled to the ground shortly after takeoff around 3:30 p.m. The Cook County medical examiner's office is examining the cause of death, officials said today.
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Norbert Paprocki, a Des Plaines pilot, said he saw the plane climb before it either lost power or stalled.
"As he came by we saw a normal departure and normal liftoff," Paprocki said. "He got up to 100, maybe 150 feet and we noticed he started slowing down. He just kept getting slower, slower and slower."
Paprocki, a licensed commercial pilot, said the left wing of the plane then dropped and the plane began to spin 180 degrees before crashing into a grassy area about 10 feet from the runway.
"It started to spin, came back towards us and straight into the ground," he said. "It was a stall spin."
He said he saw the plane shudder before it began to plummet.
"We got in my car and drove over to the airplane, and you could kind of tell there was no movement in the plane," Paprocki said. "He was dead. We backed away because there was gas all over the ground."
The Schaumburg police and fire departments responded to the crash at 3:38 p.m. and pronounced the pilot dead at the scene after removing him from the aircraft.
Borgstrom was licensed as a flight instructor and commercial pilot for single-engine planes, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
The airport was closed after the crash, but officials said there is no runway damage.
Morgan Kidd of Roselle, an employee of Breda Moving Co., which has offices behind the airport in Roselle, said there was no smoke or flames after the plane crashed nose-first.
"We saw the plane with the tail standing straight up and it looked like it disintegrated," Kidd said.
Judith Tauber of Roselle stood outside and watched as emergency crews gathered at the scene while the sun set. She is working toward earning her pilot's license. "This has made me think twice. Even though you could get killed just as easy riding in a car."
The lack of ice and sunny skies had made for good flight conditions, Tauber said.
Daily Herald staff writers Marni Pyke and Kim Pohl contributed to this report.