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Pilot makes emergency landing after suffering heart attack

Updated: November 2, 2011 11:45AM

A 65-year-old man suffered a heart attack while piloting an experimental aircraft in northwest suburban McHenry County on Tuesday, but made an emergency landing in a farm field and was hospitalized in critical condition after emergency responders resuscitated him.

At about 5:33 p.m. Tuesday, members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s office and Hebron Alden Greenwood Fire Protection District responded to the 7000 block of Miller Road, southeast of Hebron in McHenry County, for an airplane pilot having a heart attack.

Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Laufer and a retired paramedic administered CPR to the victim, Steven R. Nusbaum, and police brought an external defibrillator to assist. Two shocks were administered to Nusbaum, who was taken to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Nusbaum had been flying an experimental aircraft and made an emergency landing in a field, police said. The plane sustained no apparent damage. The pilot’s son, Chance A. Nusbaum, had been monitoring his father’s flight and saw the plane land in the field, police said. He arrived first on the scene and found his father lying back in the seat on the plane.

The FAA was notified of the incident.

The defibrillator was one of five donated to the sheriff’s office by the Sara Kathleen Schacht Memorial Foundation. Fire District Capt. Thomas Linneman said that in such instances, “early CPR and early defibrillation are key to the chain of survival.”

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