All posts by Chicago Executive

Runway Construction Season Ends

It’s Been a Long, Hot Construction Summer

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The principal construction for the Runway 16/34 Rehabilitation Project has been completed and all runways and taxiways are open again.

While the trucks have all pretty much disappeared, there are still a few items not quite back to normal that everyone needs to know about.

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The FAA requires a flight check before they’ll allow the runway 16 ILS to be recommssioned. The tentative date is early October, but we’ll post a precise date for your planning purposes as soon as we can.  The Land and Hold Short Lights on runway 16 will remain out of service briefly until they are recalibrated. All PAPIs are back in operation as well.

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division is also trying to schedule their post-construction inspection of the new runway. We don’t anticipate any issues, but there is always the chance the the IDOT folks might see something that requires a bit of corrective action. 

The Facts, Just the Facts

Because he amount of materials needed for a project of this size is always greater than anyone imagines, we wanted to share with you a few runway construction facts.

Seven different contractors teamed up to create the new runway surface. The initial work began when 20,000 tons asphalt milled and hauled off. The new surface added back some 21,500 tons of new asphalt. They used 150,000 sq. ft. of temporary marking paint, but only 130,000 sq. ft. of permanent paint. 

Construction efforts created 75,500 sq. yds. of new grooving and added 50 new runway lights. The lights demanded the installation of 20,000 sq. ft. of new cable. Finally, crews graded down three acres of shoulder area.

The Low Down on Drones That Every Operator Needs to Know

Phantom 3Part 107 Drone Rule is Here

In case you missed the news, the FAA last week made Part 107, governing the commercial use of drones, the law of the land. Part 107, containing the operational and safety rules for drones, is expected to make it easier to organize and certify the pilots who operate them. From this point forward, commercial drone operators must possess a special-issue remote pilot operator certificate to fly an unmanned aerial system (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds. UAS is the FAA’s term, for what the rest of us have been calling drones.

Hobbyist operators – people who will not be paid for flying – are not required to be licensed, although they are still expected to understand the operational guidelines that apply to that segment, such as a prohibition against any flights within 5 miles of an airport, no flights above 400 feet AGL and no flying over crowds of people such as at public events. The agency organized hobbyist guidelines for distribution here, Fly for Fun.

For commercial operators, Part 107 eliminates the need to file a time-consuming waiver application before each and every flight operation. One major exception to that rule is also flight within 5 miles of an airport. Even for commercially licensed drone pilots, this kind of flying is prohibited, until the operator receives a waiver from the FAA specifically approving the work.

Becoming a Remote Pilot Operator

There are two paths to licensing, one if the operator has never held a pilot certificate and another for airmen that already possess an active pilot certificate. Newcomers, who are at least 16 years of age, should expect some studying in order to pass an FAA Knowledge Exam administered at a local testing center at a cost of about $150. Following that test, a TSA background check is required before the certificate’s issued.

Current pilots proceed along a different path, being required to complete the FAA’s Part 107 UAS online training course and an identity check before they’ll see a temporary airmen certificate. Licensed pilots may be a bit surprised to learn their new certificate will not be tacked on their current one and will also carry a new number specific to the “Remote Pilot” certificate.

A Little Help From Your Friends

Despite the issuance of Part 107, many drone operators and potential operators are bound to have questions about what they can and should do to operate within federal guidelines and remain safely separated from manned aircraft.IMG_1189 2

On September 12, Chicago Executive airport is pleased to help in that quest for knowledge by working with Vortex UAS and Atlantic Aviation to present an hour-long session on the basics of operating a drone both commercially and as a hobbyist.

The session begins at 7 PM at Atlantic Aviation’s hangar, 1011 S. Wolf Rd and is offered free of charge to anyone interested in drones. In order to be sure there’s room for everyone, pre-registration is required.

More information on the Sept. 12 event is available via e-mail at rmark@chiexec.com or by calling the airport’s communications coordinator, Rob Mark at 847-537-2580, ext. 117.

 

Life Inside Fence

Life Inside the Fence

Despite the tall steel security fences that seem ready to halt people from any angle they might approach the airport, we actually organize quite a few events, many of which you don’t need to be a pilot to attend.

Take a look at what’s coming up, as well as a few of the happenings you might have missed and you may quickly realize that there are quite a few good things taking place just down the road.Flyer- Top Picture

4th of July Weekend

One of our biggest upcoming events is the annual 5K Rock-n-Run the Runway set to begin in the early morning hours of July 3 that allows runners to see the airport from an incredible perspective, while they run of course. Pre-registration is encouraged. Later that day, the airport gates on the east side of the airport will reopen at 5 pm to begin a night of food, music, fun and fireworks, all at no cost to visitors.

Airport Tours

IMG_0203During the past few months, we’ve conducted nearly a dozen tours of the airport for scouting organizations and other civic groups. These usually take about an hour and include a local guide who is ready to explain the intricacies of daily life at Chicago Executive, as well as offer visitors a chance to see a variety of aircraft up close. If your group of eight or less would like to arrange a future tour, call the main airport number 847-537-2580, ext. 117.

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Young Eagles Offers Free Flights to Kids Between 8-17

Most of us who work on the airport remember our first encounter with an airplane, probably when we were just kids. The EAA, the people who throw the big airshow in Oshkosh every year, (begins July 25th) organized the Young Eagles as a way to offer kids their first ride in an airplane. Best of all, it doesn’t cost the kids or their parents a penny to take part. Both the airplanes and the pilots who fly them, are donated by a flock of local aviators dedicated to the Young Eagles movement at PWK.Young Eagles

The next Young Eagles Rally happens later this month on Saturday morning, June 25th at Signature Flight Support on the east side of the airport near the control tower. In order to make sure there is a seat for everyone who wants one, preregistration is encouraged by calling 847-484-7142. Leave a message on the voicemail and a volunteer will call back to schedule the flight. But don’t throw away that phone number. Once you’re child is registered, you’ll want to call that number after 7:30 am on the 25th to be sure weather won’t get in the way of the flight.

 

Stearman Bi-Plane Gives Vets a View From Above

The good folks at Signature Flight Support opened their doors last week to a number of veterans of the Korean Conflict and WWII. Thanks to the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, they were all able to see the north shore from the front seat of a 1930’s era Stearman.

Here’s how WGN-TV covered the event, as well as Flying magazine. IMG_0937

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Nissan Night

We were pleased to be able to help the Chicagoland Nissan dealers a few weeks ago when they wanted to introduce their newest hot car to dozens of Nissan fans. The event unveiled the 2017 Nissan GTR, 545 hp hooked up to an all-wheel drive chassis. We just happened to have an empty hangar on the west side of the airport that fit the event perfectly. And just to make sure visitors didn’t forget where they were, One Aviation’s Ken Ross brought his airplane into the hangar to accent the evening.
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Pilot’s Association Breakfast

Pancake breakfasts have long been an aviation tradition. This past weekend, the Chicago Executive Pilots Association held their annual event on the northeast corner of the airport. Nearly 60 people attended and spent the morning wolfing down an endless supply of flapjacks and eggs, while they also marveled at a few of the local airplanes on display. Members of the airport board stopped by and spent a few hours having breakfast and learning all they could about the men and women who park their airplanes with us. Quite a few non-pilots who stopped in to enjoy the event as well.

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An Old Friend Heads West

AlIt’s with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of our own, E. Allan Englehardt, a past Chairman of the Airport Board of Directors. Al died yesterday in Lake Bluff at the age of 69.

In addition to the years Al served on the airport board, he was, of course, a retired United Airlines pilot having flown his last airline trip in 2009. Al was also an active flight instructor all his life, having brought thousands into the world of aviation through his Flight Standards weekend ground schools during aviation’s heydays in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. As an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, Al Englehardt tested hundreds of new pilot applicants around Chicago for nearly every fixed wing rating. His annual flight instructor refresher clinics also kept many area teachers on their toes when it came time to renew their instructor credentials.

Al was an active member of the Leading Edge Flying Club at PWK and could be found at the club’s breakfast each and every month to meet new and old pilots and do what he was best at … gabbing. Everyone that knew Al will remember he was never shy about an opinion on anything related to the industry. He was also inducted into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009.

He will be missed. BTW, if you have a fun remembrance of Al, why not share it here as a comment.

Visitation for Al is this Thursday May 12 from 3 pm to 8 pm at Burnett-Dane Funeral Home, 120 W. Park Ave (Rt. 176), one block west of Milwaukee Ave in Libertyville.

Summer Runway Closures Detailed

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About a month from now, during the first week of June, PWK will become a beehive of construction activity.

Some 14 years after runway 16/34 was completely reconstructed, recent condition surveys tell us it’s time to resurface the runway again. Annoying as the inconvenience of runway construction disruptions might be, the thought of a piece of pavement crumbling beneath an aircraft is a safety threat that can’t be ignored.

In addition to runway 16/34, all adjacent taxiway turnoffs, such as K2, K3, L2, L3 etc. will also be resurfaced. Runway 12/30 and 6/24 will operate normally for the most part, although at times during the summer, there will be work where those landing areas intersect runway 16/34 in order to prevent most service interruptions in the future when it’s the two shorter runways turn for resurfacing.

In order to minimize interruptions, construction crews will only work on runway 16/34 over the weekends, weather permitting, beginning at 10 pm on Friday nights with the runway reopening by 6 am the following Monday. The work is scheduled to most likely begin June 3rd and run until mid to late September. Crews will not work the Fourth of July weekend, which means the Run the Runway and city event schedules will not be affected.

Ninety percent of the project’s funding is coming from the FAA, with another five percent from the State of Illinois and the final five percent being paid directly by the airport. That means no community tex dollars are used for this project.

Federal guidelines demand the runway 16 ILS is shut down temporarily during the entire project, from June through September. The airport’s RNAV GPS and VOR runway 16 instrument approaches will continue to operate normally. PWK Runway Rehab

Electrical improvements will include all new lighting cables and new runway edge lighting. Because the construction work means shaving the top three to four inches off the old pavement, crews will eliminate any possible bumps and keep the runway within FAA tolerances during the work by spreading any inconsistencies in the pavement over a 30-foot long piece of the surface. The new surface will also be re-striped after each weekend session.

At some point late in the construction season, the intersections where 16/34 crosses 6/24 and 12/30 will also require work dictating a complete closure of all runways during at least two weekends. Once all paving is complete, construction will be halted for three weeks to allow the asphalt to cure before the final runway grooving and striping with fresh reflective beads begins.

Have a question? E-mail us here, or comment below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer ASAP.

EMAS: Good as New

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The early morning hours of January 26, 2016

Airports are labor intensive businesses. Every time you turn around, there always seems to something that needs attention.

A runway check each morning is easy enough to point out a broken runway light or two, or patch a piece of crumbling taxiway pavement. Sometimes though, the work’s a bit more involved, like when an airplane ends up somewhere we hope it wouldn’t, like a few months ago when a Falcon 20 landing on runway 16 ran through the engineered materials arresting system (EMAS) at the south end of the airport. The crushable blocks of this new-age runway safety system, did their job and halted the airplane with minimum damage to the airplane and zero damage to the pilots.

The EMAS engagement did leave a pretty glaring hole in the block structure though, something the airport fixed last week with the help of Boland Construction out of New York, a company experienced at EMAS repairs. The work was planned for eight nights of runway closures from 10 pm until 6 am the next morning. But time is money and airports and the businesses that depend upon us don’t make much when the main runway is shut down. The basic plan was to complete as much work each night safely and hope to maybe shave a night off the calendar which would mean less disruption for users.

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Today, the end of the runway’s all spic and span. Photo courtesy Lee Hogan

On Monday evening, the first barricades went up to protect workers and warn pilots again the runway should not be used. Boland’s nine employees removed a number of extra EMAS blocks that looked questionable on second inspection and used torches to loosen the adhesive that originally held the blocks in place. Time to call it a night.

Tuesday’s efforts were rained out, but everyone was back on Wednesday at 10 pm when the new blocks were put in place. By Thursday night, there wasn’t much to do except caulk the blocks – just like your bathroom tile – and add the new yellow striping. By Friday morning, it was time to coordinate with the control tower to keep aircraft away and allow everything time to cure. By Saturday morning, the long runway was open for business.

In the end, the teams managed to shave three full nights of work from the project which translated into increased runway availability for airport tenants and transient operators and it was back to business as usual.

Along with the runway, the 16 instrument landing system (ILS) was also brought back to life without the need for another flight check. Thanks for your patience everyone.

 

A Week of Great Airport Events

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Hangar 11 was busier than it has been in some time.

JetSmarter Party at Hangar 11

In case you missed some of the action this past week, both airport people and a number of star-like visitors gathered around the airport to learn about.

Last Friday night, hangar 11 became the center of attention for dozens of people cheering on the launch of JetSmarter. The night was highlighted by a visit from comedian Jenny McCarthy and her husband Donnie Wahlberg. Note the accompanying photo with our own Signature Flight Support honcho Al Palicki.

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Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy and Signature Flight Support’s station manager Al Palicki

JetSmarter is making private air travel accessible through a mobile app that seamlessly connects travelers to private jets at attractive fares worldwide, in real-time. The company has also formed links with local helicopter companies to  speed the hook up for quicker transfers between downtown and the airports JetSmarter may serve, such as Chicago Executive, DuPage, Waukegan and of course, Chicago O’Hare and Midway.

Avidyne Explains ADS-B

Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast, better known as ADS-B in airplane talk, is a new system the allows aircraft anywhere to talk to air traffic control without using traditional radar systems. Radar is expensive to operate and ADSB is not.

Avidyne’s regional rep Ryan Paul was on hand Saturday for the monthly Leading Edge Flying Club breakfast, this month also joined by a number of members from the Chicago Executive Pilots Association. About 50 people attended the hour-long session in which Ryan explained the intricacies of deciding what kind of equipment to add to a general aviation airplane and at what cost.

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Avidyne’s Ryan Paul

For aircraft owners, the real benefit of ADS-B will come once a new satellite system, soon to be launched by Aerion, allows aircraft to be tracked anywhere on the face of the earth, including over vast areas of ocean or in the deepest of the Amazon. For local pilots, installing ADS-B in a Beechcraft Bonanza or Cirrus SR-22 will offer a host of benefits including the ability to track other aircraft in the sky and to download radar weather reports. The FAA requires that all aircraft operating at airports like PWK be equipped with ADS-B by 2020.

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50 people showed up for the combined LEFC and CEPA breakfast with Avidyne

Everyone involved in airplanes knows that nothing in our industry is cheap. GA aircraft operators are still hoping the cost to equip with an ADS-B unit will drop prior to 2020. Ryan explained that while there may be a few sales here and there from the electronics manufacturers like Avidyne, the real issue is going to be finding an avionics shop to install the equipment. In some cases, the switch to the newer ADS-B equipment might be quick, a bit like taking your car to ABT for a new stereo. In others, an aircraft could be in the shop for a week or longer. Ryan also explained that as the 2020 deadline approaches, the few shops capable of installing the new equipment will be busier and busier in a last minute rush to update. And if the airplanes don’t have ADS-B by 2020, they will be grounded until the equipment is installed.

If you’re not already a subscriber to the PWK news feed, click here and add your e-mail to the list. Follow us on Facebook and also on Twitter @pwkchiexec.

Airport Considers Noise Abatement Procedure

 

PWK noise test map 7-2016

Runway 34 departure procedure proposes aircraft fly a 310 heading for a short while after takeoff.

Just ahead of next week’s quarterly airport noise committee meeting – March 9 at 6:30 pm – Executive Director Jamie Abbott is asking users for comments about a potential noise abatement procedure the airport is considering. The airport may ask for the procedure to be tested at night for a six-month trial period, to obtain public input on the noise associated with northbound nighttime PWK departures on residents north of PWK.

The procedure, included in previous Part 150 Noise Studies, would propose that turbine-powered aircraft departing runway 34, from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM, to fly a 310 degree heading as soon as practicable after takeoff.

Aircraft would climb on this heading until reaching Lake Cook Road before proceeding on course, or to comply with further instructions issued by Chicago Departure Control. VFR aircraft would be asked to comply when able and with PWK tower approval.

The trial period would run daily between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM.

The airport would like to hear what users think before the airport requests the six-month trial from the FAA. Send your comments to Jamie Abbott at jabbott@chiexec.com.

If you’re not already a subscriber to the PWK airport news feed, add your e-mail in the subscription box on our Home Page.

Could You Be the Next Chairman of the Airport Board?

Our HistoryWith last week’s departure of Airport Board Chairman Bob McKenzie, Wheeling Village President Dean Argiris along with Prospect Hts. Mayor Nick Helmer have wasted no time initiating a search for the right person to serve as the new Chairman.

The right person need not be a resident of either Wheeling or Prospect Hts., but qualified candidates from either municipality are encouraged to apply. Aviation experience is helpful, but not required. The Chairman is however, prohibited from holding any other position at Chicago Executive Airport in which they have a financial interest.

The Chairman presides over all Board meetings and takes part in all discussions on airport issues. The Chairman only casts a vote in order to break a tie. The position requires a time commitment to attend all monthly Board meetings, as well as a small number of workshop events, during each calendar year. The initial appointment is four years, with the option for a second four-year run.

The final selection and appointment of the new Chairman will be a joint decision of the Wheeling Village President and the Mayor of Prospect Hts.

Details for how to apply – a letter of interest and the applicant’s qualifications – are attached here.

The deadline to apply is March 15, 2016

99s Chicago Aviation Expo IFR/VFR Safety Seminar a Resounding Success

By Madeleine Monaco

DSC00560The Chicago Area Chapter 99s – the international organization of women pilots – ran another successful IFR/VFR Safety Seminar January 30th, drawing just over 300 local pilots and aviation enthusiasts. The 99s have been co-hosting the event at no cost to attendees since the late 70’s. In recent years the seminar’s co-sponsors were the FAA-DuPage FSDO, the FAASTeam and the Illinois Dept. of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics. As in the past, this year’s Annual Chicago Aviation Expo, IFR/VFR Safety Seminar required people to speak on a variety of useful and pertinent aviation topics that ran from 8:45 am until 3 pm in three large conference rooms at the Itasca Holiday Inn.

You may be aware that our great State of Illinois has been having a budget lockdown. This year, without a great deal of advance notice, our Chapter was told there would be no funding assistance. In previous years the hotel expenses were covered by the Division of Aeronautics. We decided as a Chapter to step in and provide the funding to continue the tradition. Our Chapter funded the entire Expo using vendor table sales, 50/50 raffle ticket sales and donations from supporters and attendees and managed to cover our costs and show a very small profit that went to our education fund.

The Expo also allows local and regional aviation vendors and organizations to present themselves in their best light to the many pilots present. This year’s vendors were: Aviation Universe, Avidyne, Inc, Chicago Flying Advisor, Chicagoland Glider CouncilCivil Air Patrol, DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, Foresters Financial, Fox Flying Club, FSX Flight School, Hilton Software/WingX Pro7, International Flying Club, Naperville Flying Club, Pipistrel USA / Soar Free LLC, Poplar Grove Airmotive, Recreational Aircraft Foundation, Rochelle Avionics, Savant Capital and Stick and Rudder LLC. The hotel provides coffee and pastries in the morning and a buffet lunch mid-day.DSC00530

In the absence of our Chair, Ellen O’Hara, Madeleine Monaco agreed to take charge of this project, acting as liaison and worked closely with Carol Para of the Division of Aeronautics who had chaired the event the past several years. The working team included Leslie Prellwitz as Vendor Table Sales Chair/Manager; Rita Adams and Diane Cozzi as registration and front of house managers; Jill Mann and Deanna Close as Flying Companion instructors, and Natalie Berman as 50/50 Raffle ticket seller.

We had good weather and the vendors were set to go when pilots and companions started flooding our space in the morning. The first session was a joint event, beginning at 8:45, introducing the sponsors, explaining the FAA Wings credits and getting the day going. The audience gave the 99s a standing ovation when told the chapter had funded the event in full.

Here’s a look at this year’s safety sessions.

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IFR Charts and Procedures, Part 1 & 2 by Jason Unger, Chief Pilot/CFII Fly There LLC

Spatial Disorientation by Dr David Schall, FAA Regional Flight Surgeon

ARTCC Operations, Part 1 & 2 by Guy Lieser & Steve McGreevy, Chicago Center

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Avoiding Class B Airspace Incursions by Lou Wipotnik, the 1996 FAA Flight Instructor of the Year & Nicole Sparger & Aaron Barclay of NATCA’s Bridge the Gap Program

Crosswind Landings Perfected by Alan Zielinski, Designated Pilot Examiner

Aviation Weather Impacts to the National Airspace by Kevin Fryar, Meteorologist-in-charge ARR

Loss of Control: The Stabilized Approach & Go Around by Carolyn Remol, FAASTeam Program Manager Ret

Your Next Flight Review,Next Rating or License by Dave Klopfleisch, CFI ChIcago Executive Flight School

Flying Companions/Aspiring Pilots, presented by 99s Deanna Close and Jill Mann

Why Does it Fly?

Aviation Charts

Helping Your Pilot & Dealing with Emergencies

Planning A Trip 

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What your e-mail later this year for updates on the 2017 Chicago Aviation Expo