Tag Archives: KPWK

Mr. Abbott Goes to Tokyo

Mr. Abbott Goes to Tokyo

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Jamie Abbott speaks to EMAS seminar audience in Tokyo last month

Late in September, Chicago Executive Airport Executive Director, Jamie Abbott, was invited to speak about EMAS, the engineered material arresting system installed on both ends of the airport longest runway 16/34. EMAS is designed to snag an airplane that normally might have run off the end of the runway, possibly spilling on to nearby highways. The airport’s EMAS was just installed last fall.

The seminar was organized to share information between an airport operator like PWK and a potential Zodiac Aerospace customer. Zodiac, the original designer of the EMAS, covered all travel expenses for Mr. Abbott’s trip. While this kind of invite normally wouldn’t raise anyone’s interest, this one did, because Zodiac’s customer was in Tokyo. In fact, the customer team was actually comprised of the Japan Civil Aeronautics Bureau, the Regional Civil Aeronautics Bureau, Narita International Airport and Japan Ministry of Defense. In all, about 50 people were in attendance. The team from Japan was trying to decide whether or not to install EMAS at Tokyo’s Narita International airport.

EMAS Falcon

Falcon 20 resting in the EMAS bed at the south end of the airport last January

EMAS is constructed of light concrete bricks that crumble beneath the weight of an aircraft, quickly slowing the machine to a halt, usually with minimal damage to the airplane. EMAS bricks safely stopped a Boeing 747 and an MD-11 aircraft when they overran runways at New York’s JFK airport some years ago. With the paint on Executive airport’s new EMAS barely dry last January, the system was put to the test about 4 a.m. when a Falcon 20 cargo jet struck the barrier at the south end of the airport after it was unable to stop while attempting to land on runway 16. The aircraft was barely scratched and there were no injuries to either of the two pilots.

With the training for airport and local firefighting crews still fresh, emergency crews responded quickly with each element of the incident response working just as expected. The aircraft was pulled out of the barrier later that day to be made ready to fly again.

The EMAS system, while still serviceable, did require repairs in order to bring it back to 100 percent strength. That meant ordering replacement blocks and scheduling crews to handle the repairs. Of course Executive airport had no experience with the process of repairing the EMAS, which meant quite a bit of interaction with insurance companies, the FAA and EMAS creator Zodiac Aerospace. These interactions were precisely what the people in Japan wanted to hear more about.

Mr. Abbott said the FAA spoke first about why U.S. airports have runway safety areas (RSA) and how valuable a product like EMAS can be to airports that don’t have the real estate for a standard RSA, like Executive. “Then they turned it over to me to explain how and why we chose the product,” Abbott explained.

“I also spoke about how we paid for the EMAS and details about the construction process, as well as how to inspect the system and maintain it.” In all, about 50 people attended the Tokyo event that was presented to the audience mainly through a Japanese translator.

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MD-11 rests in JFK EMAS bed

When asked why it was important enough to bring our Executive Director to Japan, Abbott said, “I think because our use of the EMAS barrier by that Falcon was such a textbook case. Everything worked just the way it was intended.” Abbott said there seemed to be tremendous benefits for the Japanese in the airport operator-to-airport operator kind of format used during the event.

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.

 

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.

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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.

IFR

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

EMAS: It Just Works

EMAS FalconIt seems as if it was just a few months ago that we published a story explaining that the airport’s new engineered materials arresting system (EMAS) was operational.

Actually, come to think of it, we did just write that story in November, explaining the safety benefits of a new EMAS now stationed at each end of the long, essentially north to south, runway 16/34.

The EMAS was installed after the FAA published a requirement for a safety barrier at each end of the runway at most airports. Unfortunately, Chicago Executive airport is land-locked with no extra open space to simply lay down an extra 1,000 feet of concrete at each end, of the runway to create that barrier, known as a Runway Safety Area. EMAS was the next best option.

In the early morning hours of January 26, just three months after the final EMAS work was completed, a Falcon jet pilot had trouble stopping his aircraft as he landed to the south from over Wheeling.

As the pilot approached the crushable EMAS blocks at the south end of the airport near Palatine Rd., the barrier performed precisely as it was designed. The blocks began to crumble under the weight of the 20,000 lbs. airplane and halted the aircraft in about 150 feet, preventing it from entering nearby Palatine Road. Neither of the two pilots was injured and damage to the aircraft was minimal. The aircraft has since flown out of the airport and back to its home base in Michigan. The reason the pilot was unable to stop is still under investigation by the FAA.EMAS still

What’s really important about this story though is that the EMAS worked perfectly in January and brought the airplane to a safe stop with only minor damage. While an EMAS installation is not cheap, the Falcon pilots, as well as everyone in the community can rest easier knowing that the large aircraft that use runway 16/34 can indeed be stopped within the airport boundary in an emergency. Until repairs – estimated to cost about $396,000 – the barrier is still operational, except for the few blocks damaged by the Falcon that were removed. And in case you’re wondering, the airport doesn’t have to pay for the repairs. That bill gets sent to the insurance company of the Falcon’s operator.

Other business aviation airports that also thought ahead enough to install EMAS include, Greenville Downtown SC, Hyannis Barnstable MA. Dutchess County NY, Teterboro NJ, St.Paul Downtown MN, Kansas City Downtown MO, Newcastle Wilmington DE, Telluride CO, Martin County MD, Republic airport NY, Groton New London CT, Cleveland Burke Lakefront OH, Addison TX, and Monterey CA.

Laser Pointers: Tool, Toy & Anti-Aircraft Weapon

faa-photo-laser3-highest-res-1936x1296When focusing the audience’s attention on the pertinent portions of a PowerPoint presentation, the laser pointer is a tool. When exercising your cats by giving them a red or green dot to chase, the laser pointer is a toy.

When you point it skyward, it can be an anti-aircraft weapon.

And when you point it with purpose at an airplane, it is a federal offense subject to stiff fines (up to $250,000 and $11,000 for each violation) and possible relocation to a secure facility that will limit your view of the sky for up to 20 years.

As aviation-aware readers of the Chicago Exec blog, you already know this, and you fully understand the multitude of unhappy consequences for a pilot—and his or her passengers—blinded by a laser pointer. But members of your extended family, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and colleagues may not know that thoughtlessly aiming a laser pointer skyward—especially around any airport—can lead to bad things. So we urge you to share this story with them through your social media connections.

Looking at the period-size dot of light the cat chases, you may wonder why pointing a laser (which stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”) at an aircraft is such a bad thing. What are the chances of hitting a moving target with that little dot of light, anyway? (Better than you think, which is why laser sights on assault weapons are so popular.) Without getting too deep into Big Bang physics, spatial coherence focuses the light into the dot cats love to chase, and it allows that dot to be projected over great distances.

But the dot does grow with distance, and by the time it reaches an aircraft flying at 1,000 feet above the ground, it is many times bigger that a period of light. When it hits the minutely scratched surface of an aircraft windscreen, it instantly diffuses, creating a flash of intensely bright light. If you want to experience this for yourself, find a friend and good-sized camera strobe, go outside on a dark night and wait 20 minutes for your night vision to stabilize, then have your friend hold the strobe at windscreen distance from your open eyes. When your friend fires the strobe, without warning, into your open eyes, he or she should note the time to see how long it takes for you to see anything other than the flash.

Now imagine that you, if you’re a pilot, or your pilot, if you’re not, were on final approach and cleared to land at Chicago Executive Airport when the laser flash blinded you. This is but one example of the hazards and effects of a laser strike.

For more information, the latest laser news, laws, and civil penalties, and a pilot safety information brochure, visit the FAA’s Laser Safety Initiative website. Pilots can also report a laser incident on the site, and they can rest assured that the FAA, FBI, and local authorities will use this information to identify—and track down—repeat offenders.

Long-Time PWK Pilot Announces Retirement From CAP

Lou Wipotnik and Jamie_30 Nov 2015Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Lt. Colonel Lou Wipotnik, a long-time PWK flight instructor and former commander of the Chicago Executive airport squadron last week donated a hand-carved model of a Cessna 172 to the growing office collection of airport Executive Director Jamie Abbott. The donation occurred as Wipotnik announced his retirement from the CAP after 26 years of service, effective November 30, 2015. The 172 is an exact replica of N903CP, a CAP aircraft once based at PWK.

Wipotnik said, “I wanted to offer the Executive Director a small token of appreciation for the years of wonderful treatment he’s offered CAP, as well as the cooperation we’ve received from the Village of Wheeling and the City of Prospect Heights.”

Lou Wipotnik began flying in 1957 at Sallie’s Flying School at PWK and joined CAP that same year rising to become first the squadron and then CAP group commander until he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1964. He returned to PWK in 1989 and served at the PWK squadron until his retirement.

Wipotnik was also in 1996 named the FAA’s Flight Instructor of the Year and was recently inducted into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame for 2016. Despite his retirement from CAP, Lou says he’ll continue to teach people to fly at the Leading Edge Flying Club and Fly There LLC, both based at hangar 5, as well as with individual aircraft owners.

One PWK Pilot’s Story: Why He Flies

Chgo nightI’m sorry.

Unasked, I feel compelled to write about my flying experience this past Sunday night. I’m not sure if I am apologizing because I am sharing a personal story without you asking for it, or if it’s  because you weren’t with me. Over the last 1500 hours, I’ve had many pleasant flights. Like all pilots, most flights cause me to say out loud, “I love flying!”  But this night was somehow different.

My flight to BMI was uneventful, but exciting as I was flying down to enjoy dinner with one of my sons who happened to be in town to see a client. Flying is always great, but has special meaning when I can see family….. AND EAT!  As an added benefit, I found a new great restaurant.

After dinner, he dropped us off, and after a preflight, we headed north to PWK. The flight was only about 30 minutes, and as we approached Chicago, I descended to stay under the Bravo (O’Hare airspace). With the lights below and the dark sky above, I dimmed the panel, making the plane almost invisible. Combined with a glass like smoothness in the air, it created a visual I couldn’t remember experiencing before. It was as if I was in an easy chair, and I was directing the chair through a magical world. There was no sense of speed, other than the city lights moving by below me. I didn’t want the flight to end, and wished all of my friends (pilot and non-pilot alike) could’ve been with me.

I write and talk to pilots about getting out to the airport to go flying.  I’m always amazed how little we fly, considering how much we all love it. I’m hoping reading this will serve as a catalyst for some of you to find your own special aviation moment. Get back in the plane and experience something that so few people will ever know.

And learn from me, invite someone to share it with.

ME

March Epner flies a Cirrus and also serves as president of the Leading Edge Flying Club based at PWK’s hangar 5

Airport Photo Contest Winner Announced

15- Neal Kesler 01The results are in and Neal Kesler and his Cessna 182 have taken home the gold … well, so to speak.

Don’t take it too personally if your photo didn’t make the cut for the airport newsletter here. We never seem to tire of seeing new photos of airport people and their machines, so send us yours. All that we ask is that it is your original photo and was shot somewhere at PWK. Of course there’s no prize, just a great photo published for all to see.

E-mail it to Rob Mark at the airport communications office … rmark@chiexec.com. Who knows, maybe we’ll be looking at yours in a few weeks too.

 

Drone Course Offers PWK Pilots New Opportunities

Vortex Drone session, 5/30/15 at Atlantic Aviation, PWK.

Vortex drone demonstration by Vortex UAS at Atlantic Aviation, PWK

From the EditorsWelcome to the first edition of the airport newsletter in a digital form. Our goal is to bring you interesting stories about KPWK on a bi-weekly basis that can be easily read in the format more and more people tell us they want.

Best of all, there’s no need for you to keep wondering when they next story runs because a free subscription will bring a notice directly to your inbox. You’ll find subscription details on the right side of this blog page.

So let us know what you think. And don’t hesitate to send us your ideas for people, events or those stories you’ve noticed around the airport that that no one else has.

Did we mention photos too for us to post? Send them to rmark@chiexec.com

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The notice that Vortex UAS was going to hold an introductory course for drone pilots at Atlantic Aviation on Chicago Executive Airport confused some and concerned others.

Vince Donohue, a corporate pilot and president of Vortex UAS efficiently explained that as the rules exist today, to be used for commercial, for-hire purposes, a drone must be operated by an FAA certificated pilot.

Nodding toward his multi-rotor and fixed wing drones on the table, Donohue said their operation had little in common with the aircraft the half-dozen pilots in the course flew. But drones are aircraft that operate in the National Airspace System, and the participants’ pilot certification demonstrated their knowledge of FAA regulations—and first-hand experience—of operating in it.

The educational goal of the 4-hour course was to introduce the pilots to the growing aviation opportunities drones represent. The participants were evenly divided between recent and just-about-to-graduate collegiate aviators and veterans a generation older. Donohue explained the history of drones, the elements of unmanned aerial vehicles, and the components of an unmanned aircraft system, which includes the ground control station.

Addressing the legal landscape, Donohue said commercial drone operations exist today, work under case-by-case approvals, which his company will soon receive from the FAA. Flying them is a part-time opportunity, but that will change significantly when the FAA issues the final drone operating rules in the next year or so.

Before addressing current drone technology, their capabilities, and coming career opportunities, Donohue demonstrated the precise control of two camera-equipped multi-rotor drones in an adjacent hangar. One of them barely filled his hand. In the classroom, videos demonstrated a number of drone applications that shared the safe and economical flight of various sensors that accomplish hundreds of different missions.

Vortex UAS has three missions, Donohue said, training pilots to operate drones, to facilitate commercial drone missions, and to advocate for their safe and efficient integration into aviation. As it does in other industries and aspects of aviation, success in the infant drone industry hinges on the unified employment of knowledge and skills, networking, and experience, said Donohue. Vortex UAS offers all three, with expanding opportunities now that the company has earned its 333 exemption from the FAA.

Vortex’s next drone pilot class begins at KPWK on September 19. More information’s available at the VortexUAS training site.