No injuries in small helicopter crash at Willard Airport

SAVOY, Ill. – No one was hurt Wednesday in a small helicopter crash at Willard Airport.

Emergency crews responded to the crash at 1:38 p.m. Wednesday. Two were aboard a small training helicopter – both the student and the pilot were examined by medical crews on scene and released with no apparent injuries.

The majority of emergency crews had cleared the scene by 2:30 p.m. and no flights in or out of Willard Airport were affected.

The Robinson R22 Beta helicopter is operated out of Willard Airport by a private business, and it is not affiliated with the Institute of Aviation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or Parkland College. Willard Airport Executive Director Gene Cossey said the helicopter pilot was performing training maneuvers before hitting the runway too hard.

The crash caused the helicopter to turn over, causing substantial damage and triggering the airport’s emergency response.

“Our first priority is to make sure everyone on scene is safe, and that’s exactly what we did,” Cossey said.

Cleanup will proceed throughout the day, but Willard Airport flights are not expected to be affected.

Willard Airport (CMI) is located six miles south of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign near U.S. Highway 45 in Savoy, Illinois.