Darien man dies in air crash
A Darien man died Wednesday morning when his ultralight aircraft crashed on takeoff from Big Foot Airfield three miles west of the village of Walworth.
John C. Evans, 61, gave a brief statement to deputies after the crash but lost consciousness and died at Mercy Walworth Hospital and Medical Center.
He was the former chairman of the Darien Police and Public Safety Committee.
Evans' ultralight crashed about halfway down the 2,108-foot north-south runway. The crash site was about 40 yards west of the runway in a cornfield. Evans was the lone occupant.
The Walworth County Sheriff's Office reported that shortly after takeoff, Evans' ultralight banked right and crashed in the cornfield. Walworth County deputies and the Walworth Rescue Unit were called to the scene at 8:30 a.m.
The airfield is located at W7145 Beloit Road in the town of Walworth. It is a privately owned facility open to the public. It is not staffed.
The airfield has two grass runways.
Capt. Scott McClure of the sheriff's office said the Federal Aviation Administration was contacted. The sheriff's office was advised that because an ultralight does not have a tail wing number, it is not considered an airplane; therefore the incident will not be investigated as a plane crash.
Ultralights are single- or two-person fixed-wing aircraft flown for short distances at low altitudes, McClory said.
McClory said an autopsy is scheduled for later this week.