Pilot Recalls 'Threading The Needle' To Land On Chicago's Lake Shore Drive

Steve Miller
November 16, 2018 - 8:36 pm
A single-engine plane made an emergency landing on South Lake Shore Drive the afternoon of Friday, July 27, 2018.

Twitter/Chicago Fire Department


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – The Ohio pilot who landed that single-engine plane on Lake Shore Drive over the summer is telling his story.

WBBM's Steve Miller reports.

Flying the plane on July 27 was 25-year-old John Ginley. At his side: his girlfriend, 20-year-old Ally Gilbert.

They told Flight Training Magazine they had flown many times before. On the way to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and back, they played a game for the first time, asking: Where would you put the plane down if something happened?

Then, it became real.

Ginley lost power, and they were directed to Lake Shore Drive. He tells the magazine he and his girlfriend saw the pedestrian bridge at 35th Street.

“We were not going to be able to go over the bridge. I had to go under the bridge, but over the cars on the road. It was like threading a needle.”

Gilbert said she saw a bicyclist on the bridge and locked eyes with a police officer at the side of the road.

Ginley said he feared the plane would be rear-ended by traffic.

No injuries were reported.