2 WGN traffic helicopter crashes.
2 WGN traffic helicopter crashes.
Posted by: Cragin Spring ()
Date: July 21, 2015 01:02PM

As a kid when driving with my dad down Milwaukee avenue going south when approaching Hubbard Street he would point at the wall on Hubbard saying the WGN traffic copter crashed there in 1960. My dad told me how horrible it was that Officer Baldy who was very well known had to lose his life like that. My question after searching this topic, did the helicopter crash on Hubbard Street or up above in the railroad yard?
When searching this terrible accident I found out there was another WGN copter crash in 1971 in Bellwood that I don't remember.

Re: 2 WGN traffic helicopter crashes.
Posted by: Dunning1 ()
Date: July 21, 2015 01:26PM

I kind of remember that as Flying Officer Irv Hayden on WGN, and he was the one that died along with his pilot in a helicopter crash in Bellwood. I remember him on the radio for years.

According to the Chicago Tribune of May 3, 1960, the crash Officer Baldy was involved in happened on the CNW Right of Way, near Hubbard and Milwaukee. Apparently the rotor broke, the helicopter turned sideways, and hit the north parapet of the right of way just west of the Milwaukee Road overpass. Parts were scattered over a block square area, but the bulk of the helicopter fell into Union and Hubbard Streets. Not to get too graphic, but the poor officer was decapitated in the accident and his head was found in Milwaukee Ave., and his body sixty feet away on the CNW right of way. The pilot, H. G. Ferry was also killed in the crash.

Re: 2 WGN traffic helicopter crashes.
Posted by: West Town ()
Date: July 21, 2015 08:05PM

I remember both crashes as well. If you go on e-bay do a search of Chicago Police Helicopter. There are several pictures of both crashes from the Tribune along with PR pictures of the CPD helicopters. Sadly there is a picture from 1958 of Officer Baldy and another officer posing next to the WGN copter announcing the beginning of radio traffic reports.

Re: 2 WGN traffic helicopter crashes.
Posted by: trainutlen ()
Date: July 22, 2015 12:07PM

I remember both well. Hayden's crash happened during a bad rainstorm-he used to have a traffic segement on WGN on Saturday mornings, as well as the traffic copter reports. I believe it happened in August of 1971-same day that a tree fell on my car from the same storm

Home | Columns | Articles | Features | Links | Forum | Mission Statement | Staff | Media & Press | Maps | FAQ | Contact