by B.N. Sullivan
A Learjet 35A operated by Royal Air Freight crashed early this afternoon, January 5, 2010, near Wheeling, IL. The aircraft (registration N720RA), operating as flight RAX 988, had departed Pontiac-Oakland County International Airport (PTK) in Michigan and was on approach to runway 34 at Chicago-Executive Airport (PWK) at the time of the accident. A CNN report about the accident quoted a firefighting official at the scene who said that both crew members on the Learjet had perished. The aircraft was completely destroyed.
News reports about the accident say that the aircraft had been cleared to land at PWK, and was on final approach when it crashed into a wooded area just south of the airport. News photos from the accident scene show aircraft wreckage along the banks of the Des Plaines River.
Fox News has posted several photos of the accident scene on its Web site.
Royal Air Freight is a Part 135 carrier based in Waterford, MI.
Condolences to the families and friends of the deceased pilots.
Related: First NTSB report on the Royal Air Freight Learjet accident in Illinois