Bureau of Aviation Safety and Education

Safety  |  Aviation Education Task Force

Illinois Aviation Newsletter 

Volume #73, Issue #2 | 2Q2021



Each year, the Illinois Department of Transportation develops the Annual Proposed Airport Improvement Program. It is designed to provide an overview of the airport improvement program, as well as a current listing of all airport projects programmed for the next federal fiscal year in an effort to inform the general public and aid local transportation stakeholders and business partners in specific planning activities.

For fiscal year 2022, IDOT’s Annual Proposed Airport Improvement Program includes projects at airports throughout the state to ensure continued safe and efficient operations at these facilities while maximizing opportunities for economic development. Justified eligible projects are selected from Transportation Improvement Program submittals and evaluated based on the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Priority Rating and need. The FAA provides the state of Illinois with the preliminary federal programming levels annually for programming purposes. The Annual Proposed Airport Improvement Program does not address all known airport needs and deficiencies. Instead, the program focuses on needs and deficiencies identified by airport sponsors, the FAA and IDOT that are consistent with IDOT’s goals.

Limited resources require an airport project evaluation system that maximizes available funds while keeping consistent with national, state and local needs. To make the best use of limited state and federal airport development funds, IDOT follows the FAA’s National Priority Rating system, which allows the department to identify projects that meet present system needs. Current project priorities are:

  • Safety: Projects needed to make the airport facilities safe for aircraft operations.
  • Preservation: Projects to preserve the functional or structural integrity of the airport.
  • Standards: Projects required to bring the airport up to design standards for current aircraft using the facility.
  • Upgrade: Projects required to allow the airport to accommodate larger aircraft that can carry more passengers or cargo.
  • Capacity: Expansion projects required to accommodate more aircraft at peak times.

Following these priorities, the department is able to assist local communities in providing an environment that meets current state and federal safety standards, preserving the existing airport infrastructure and encouraging economic growth by assisting airport sponsors with new development and expansion projects where a clear and demonstrated need exists.



Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation announced the state will commit $94 million to improve public airports throughout the state through the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

As part of a competitive grant process, IDOT will be seeking proposals for the planning, construction, reconstruction, extension, development and improvement of public airports.

The investment will not only create good-paying jobs during construction but provide long-term opportunities for airports to expand their workforce.

“Illinois remains a hub for commerce and transit — and not just for this nation, but for the entire global economy. We are the fifth largest economy in the United States, and the crossroads for national and international companies who need our airports and roads and rail and rivers and people to move their products,” said Pritzker. “With this $94 million from the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, airports across the state will have the opportunity to make needed updates, improvements and extensions to facilities while providing job opportunities for the surrounding communities.”

To be eligible, airports must be for public use and included in the Illinois Aviation System Plan. Applications are due June 14 to be eligible for a total of $94 million to be released later this year, with a maximum of $25 million for individual awards.

Awards are anticipated to be announced later this year.

“Illinois is the transportation hub of North America because of the strength of our multimodal system, with aviation helping to lead the way,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.

The Illinois aviation system is one of the largest in the nation, made up of more than 830 individual landing facilities. Illinois is home to everything from O’Hare International Airport to municipal airports and private grass strips, contributing more than $55 billion annually to the state’s economy.

“Under Gov. Pritzker, IDOT is committed to making sure our airports have the resources they need to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry,” Osman said.

Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state’s aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

A total of $150 million is identified in Rebuild Illinois for the state’s airports, with $6 million already committed to an air traffic control tower at Lewis University Airport in Romeoville, which is owned and operated by the Joliet Regional Port District.



A Biennial Flight Instructor Refresher Course has been provisionally scheduled for November 5-6 at the Northfield Inn, Suites and Conference Center in Springfield pending guidance from the Governor’s Office. Registration is available here. (www.aviationseminars.com/firc-locations/?loc=Springfield,%20IL"aviationseminars.com/firc-locations/?loc=Springfield,%20IL)  



Ribbon cutting and fundraiser kickoff

The Harold Neumann Project, along with the Geneseo Historical Society, hosted an event on May 15 opening the Harold Neumann “Aviation Pioneer” museum exhibit.

During Harold’s flying career of 70 years, he accomplished much more than that farm boy from Geneseo ever imagined he could.  In 1935, he won the Greve Trophy and the Thompson Trophy while also being named America’s #1 Pilot by the National Aeronautical Association. He is acknowledged in the Smithsonian. He was a barnstormer, skywriter and captain for TWA for 30 years. From Jennys to Jets, this man was not just a pilot, he was a genius.

“Collecting memorabilia of Harold’s from museums and family members across the country has been nothing less than thrilling for us,” said Paula Chapa, chair of the Harold Neumann Project.  “We have his Greve Trophy and his Thompson Trophies, and they were just the tip of the iceberg.  On loan from Special Collections & University Archives, University of Illinois Chicago, we will have the original Eiffel Tower that Harold presented to Mayor Daley after his celebrated flight from Paris to Chicago in 1958. Hours and hours have been spent reading letters, logbooks and notes of Harold’s, trying to put together the stories of his life with the memorabilia we collected. We want this museum exhibit to be educational as well as informative.”

More about Harold...

Harold Neumann, a farm boy from Geneseo, Illinois was an aviation pioneer during the Golden Age of Flying. He learned to fly in 1926 at Moline and honed his skills in a Jenny that he kept in a hangar on his parent's farm. In 1928, Neuman traded the Jenny for a Travel Air and entered his first air race the following year at Kewanee. Also, in 1929, he moved to the Chicago area where he began teaching at flight schools while participating in air shows on the side.

In the early 1930's Neumann barnstormed the nation with a daredevil flying group called the American Air Aces. A 5,000-foot dive at 350 m.p.h. was one of his specialties. His reputation as an outstanding airman grew and by 1933, he was flying competitively for Benny Howard, the Chicago-based designer/manufacturer/racer. Neumann competed in 1933 American Air Races held in conjunction with the Century of Progress in Chicago. In 1935, he flew two of Howard's planes in the 1935 National Air Races in Cleveland taking both the Thompson Trophy and the Greve Trophy. He was then awarded the Collier Trophy for outstanding aviation accomplishments and named "Air Race Pilot of the Year."

In 1936 Neumann temporarily put aside show flying and accepted a position with TWA which he held for thirty years before his mandatory retirement. He began as a DC-2 copilot and moved up to captain flying the DC-3, Constellation and Boeing 707.

Following his retirement from TWA, he became active in the International Aerobatic Club (IAC), flying his 1941 Monocoupe, Little Mulligan, which was painted like Benny Howard's Mr. Mulligan. He competed and won IAC competitions well into his 80s. He also shared his skills and techniques with younger IAC members at local, regional and national meets, and served as a contest judge.

Neumann was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Hammondsport, New York in 1971 and the International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame in 1998.

Throughout his career, Neumann was known for his mentoring and collaboration with younger pilots. Not only would he freely share his aviation and mechanical skills, but he would impart to them his philosophy of determination and hard work to achieve their goals.

Harold passed away July 5, 1995, at the age of 89. We salute him for his contributions to aviation, air racing and aerobatics.

Check out more about Harold here and on FaceBook here!




People pursue careers in aviation for many reasons. Some have dreamed of flying for as long as they can remember. Some were introduced to aviation by a family member, friend or mentor. Others simply tripped into the wonder of flight through chance or circumstance.

Historically, aviators did not discover aviation in high school. Until recently, there was no emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math, otherwise known as STEM subjects. High school aviation programs have been a rarity, with schools instead focusing on cars, farming, cosmetology and a few other career paths.

Aviation is finally making its way into high schools through STEM, magnet and other dedicated programs by teaching conventional graduation requirements in the context of this exciting industry. High schoolers can earn their diploma while simultaneously pursuing their passion for flight, priming them for college entry. Here are a few reasons why a high school student should consider a future in aviation:


Aviation is an industry of growth. Aircraft manufacturers, airlines and government agencies report that hundreds of thousands of pilots and mechanics will be needed in the next 20 years. Aviators will be highly sought after and hirable.

Aviation is an industry of opportunity. Becoming a pilot isn’t the only option – many different career paths revolve around flight. Someone has to take care of the passengers and help the flight crew ensure a safe flight. That’s where dispatchers and ground and cabin crews come in. As the world recovers from the pandemic, travel will pick up once again, and people will need the attention and care of the crew to help them on their way to and from their destinations.

Aviation is an industry of evolution. Things are changing rapidly, and people are needed to design, build, maintain, purchase, repair and fly not only the airplanes and helicopters of today, but the drones, autonomous vehicles, VTOL aircraft, urban air mobility and commercial spacecraft of the near future. All these aircraft will need experts to keep them in the air and safely operating alongside each other and the existing manned aircraft already active within the national airspace system.

Aviation is challenging. Not everyone can do it. It takes discipline balanced by creative thinking, study, practice, dedication and perseverance to become an aviator. But right from the beginning, aviators will be rewarded with another dimension few career paths offer.

Aviation is exciting! Sure literature, economics and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire are all interesting – but compared to aviation? Come on! Top Gun! Heroes like Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Tammie Jo Shults! Humans have been pursuing flight for hundreds of years for the beauty, science and awe of it all. With so many ways to fly and new technologies emerging every day, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the aviation ranks.



Airworthiness is your responsibility

Who is responsible for the airworthiness of an aircraft? It is tempting to say it’s the mechanic who worked on the airplane, but in fact, 14 CFR section 91.403(a) says the owner/operator is primarily responsible for maintaining the aircraft in an airworthy condition. This includes Airworthiness Directive compliance, and 14 CFR section 91.7 says no person may operate a civil aircraft unless it is in an airworthy condition.

However, many pilots and owners are unaware of their airworthiness responsibilities. They think that airworthiness issues are the mechanic’s problem. They also often think that all mechanics are created equal. While maintainers are required to meet the 14 CFR section 43.13 performance rules, that level of work and safety should never be taken for granted.

Even though maintenance and inspection of an aircraft is your responsibility, it’s also a team effort between you and your mechanic, with the goal to keep you – and others – safe. Be proactive in your approach to maintenance. Carefully evaluate the maintenance facilities, personnel and equipment used to maintain and inspect your aircraft.

Continue reading this and other great topics on the FAA blog at medium.com/faa/flysafe/home.




Do you know the name of the airport shown in this picture and the approximate timeframe taken? If so, please send an email to DOT.aero@illinois.gov. Those who provide the correct answer will have their names published (with permission), along with the correct answer, in the Q3 2021 edition of Illinois Aviation.

The answer from the last newsletter, Q1 2021, was Greater Peoria Municipal Airport circa 1969. Congratulations to those who answered correctly!








Illinois Aviation Newsletter 

Volume #73, Issue #1 | 1Q2021



As we close out the first quarter of 2021, the project team remains on track to complete the Illinois Aviation System Plan and Economic Impact Analysis in the last half of 2021. The team has wrapped up the data collection process for both projects and moved into data analysis for the IASP and economic modeling for the EIA.

Several IASP draft chapters have been posted to the project website at www.ilaviation.com, and more will be posted in the near future. Most recently, the project team evaluated airports based on the performance measures established at the beginning of the project. This process identified gaps and deficiencies in the system, and we look forward to establishing performance targets and collaborating with the Technical Advisory Committee on potential project and policy recommendations.

Substantial progress has been made on the EIA front as economic modeling has begun. Preliminary EIA results will be available once the project team does their due diligence to ensure data accuracy.

A goal of these projects is to collaborate with as many stakeholders as possible. We plan to meet with the TAC in the near future to bring them up to speed and solicit their feedback, as well as meet with the Illinois Modal Working Group for the second time to share findings.

You are invited to monitor the progress of both the IASP and EIA through the project website at www.ilaviation.com. Draft documents will continue to be uploaded to the website periodically as they are made available for public review.

Lastly, if you have professional-grade photos of Illinois aviation or airports, please send them to Zach.DeVeau@Kimley-Horn.com. We’d love to feature your pictures in the reports, brochures and presentations!

We thoroughly appreciate your continued engagement and participation in both projects.



Personnel changes in engineering

Terry Tappenbeck, Land Acquisition section chief, retired in December after 35 years at Aeronautics

in the Land Acquisition Section where he was responsible for overseeing the statewide airport land acquisition program and the purchase of over 4,400 acres of land associated with the future South Suburban Airport in Will County.

Joseph Staats, P.E., was promoted to airport design engineer in October. Staats started with Aeronautics in 2014 and has extensive experience as an airport design and local procurement and project development engineer.

Richard Borus, P.E., was named section chief of the Airport Programming, Planning and Environment Section in March. In this position, Borus manages all statewide aviation system planning, program development, airspace review and environmental clearance for project implementation. Borus has more than 29 years of experience with IDOT in transportation engineering, 18 of which were specifically related to Aeronautics and airport project construction and development.




Burrill Coppernoll, of Stockton, recently celebrated his 100th birthday. A retired flight safety coordinator for northern Illinois, Coppernoll worked for the Illinois Division of Aeronautics from 1953 to 1982. He served as the Aeronautics representative in his assigned territory under six governors and every director of Aeronautics but one. During his years of promoting aviation safety, he established a cooperative working relationship with area airport operators and many pilots. Coppernoll made his first solo flight March 3, 1940. At 89, he still had a valid license and once held the distinction in Illinois of having the longest-running active pilot’s certificate from the Federal Aviation Authority. He was inducted into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame Sept. 16, 1983. In 2010, the FAA presented Coppernoll with the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for more than 50 years in the service of aviation.



In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to reprint this image of Amelia Earhart visiting Southwest Airport in Springfield, Illinois. The photo was originally published in the April-June 1953 “Illinois Aviation” newsletter.

Earhart was a record-breaking aviator whose international fame improved public acceptance of aviation and paved the way for women in commercial flight. In 1932, she became the first woman to pilot a solo flight across the Atlantic. Her awards included the American Distinguished Flying Cross and the Cross of the French Legion of Honor. In 1929, Earhart helped found the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female aviators still active today in promoting the advancement of aviation through education, scholarship and mutual support. For more information about the Ninety-Nines, visit www.ninety-nines.org.





The DuPage Airport Authority converted its transient hangar into a COVID-19 vaccination site March 3, working with the city of West Chicago to distribute more than 2,000 doses of the vaccine.

The city partnered with food and drug retailer Albertsons to obtain the doses of the vaccine, then coordinated with the DAA to prepare the facility for Wednesday’s vaccine event.

“This is part of our mission and part of the reason we’re here,” said Stephen Davis, DAA chairman of the board. “When we learned Friday that these doses would be available, we worked through the weekend and right up to Wednesday to make sure we’d be ready. We’re proud to support the city of West Chicago and the community and to play our part in the collective recovery effort.”

The DAA team cleared out and relocated several aircraft from the 32,000-square-foot hangar to allow for the setup of 10 vaccination stations. A steady stream of recipients flowed in and out of the hangar from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. for their first dose of the vaccine. Everyone who received a first dose of the vaccine Wednesday will return to DuPage Airport in three weeks for their second dose.

“This opportunity came together so quickly and is a testament to the benefit of having great partners,” Pineda said. “We’re so grateful to Albertsons, our community partners and the DuPage Airport Authority for making this possible, and helping our community recover from the pandemic.”



Training and preparing for a new flight environment

A recent study of general aviation accidents suggests that in addition to pilot proficiency, transition training and experience in diverse flight environments can improve a pilot’s ability to recognize and successfully respond to new challenges.

As pilots, it’s always good to take on new challenges — whether it’s flying in a new type of aircraft or a totally new environment. There’s lots to learn from these experiences, and they can certainly increase the fun factor with flying.

As with any new aeronautical endeavor, always be cautious and keenly aware of your limitations. It’s important to ensure you are proficient enough to handle the challenges presented with unfamiliar environments. Let’s look at a few ways you can expand your horizons to bolster safety and foster the fun of flying.

Check out more of this great topic at FAA Safety #FlySafe.



Do you know the name of the airport shown in this picture and the approximate timeframe taken? If so, please send an email to DOT.aero@illinois.gov. Those who provide the correct answer will have their names published (with permission), along with the correct answer, in the Q2 2021 edition of Illinois Aviation.

The answer from the last newsletter, Q4 2020, was Centralia Municipal Airport circa 1960. Congratulations to those who answered correctly!








Illinois Aviation Newsletter 

Volume #72, Issue #4  | 4Q2020



The Illinois Aviation System Plan continues to progress as we head into the holiday season and new year.

The project team facilitated the third Technical Advisory Committee meeting on Nov. 19, 2020. The meeting was well-attended by many industry groups and professionals. During the meeting, the project team presented results of various tasks within the system plan, including new state-specific Airport Classifications, Inventory and System Performance, Intermodal and Airport Access, and Environmental Considerations, as well as provided updates on the Economic Impact Analysis. A recording of the presentation is available on the project website along with a summary of the meeting.

We look forward to rolling out our new state airport classifications, which includes the handful of non-NPIAS airports in the system. Since we haven’t published an Illinois Aviation System Plan in decades, we are starting from scratch to assess and classify Illinois system airports. In coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and our a dvisory committee, we’ve developed a classification that aligns closely with the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. This is a critical task for us at IDOT Aeronautics, as grouping airports into distinctive classifications at the state level allows coordinated and informed decisions to be made about future development and resource allocation. The project team is currently developing the documentation that accompanies the analysis. This information will be posted to the ‘Documents’ page of the project website once it has been fully reviewed by the advisory committee.

We encourage you to monitor the progress of both the IASP and EIA

If you have professional-grade photos of Illinois aviation or airports, please send them to Zach.DeVeau@Kimley-Horn.com. We’d love to feature your pictures in our reports, brochures and presentations!


SIU Aviation Celebrates Six Decades
By Pete Rosenbery

As Southern Illinois University Carbondale nears the 60th anniversary of its nationally recognized aviation program, the horizon remains clear, unlimited and expansive.

What started as a service unit offering flight classes with four airplanes and spare parts has evolved into one of the nation’s leading compre

through the project website at "http://www.ilaviation.com/"www.ILaviation.com. Draft documents will be uploaded to the website periodically for public review.

hensive aviation programs with multiple degree programs, a state-of-the-art facility and more than 600 students.

The program’s reach now extends nationally with online and off-campus offerings and internationally with agreements to train aviation technology students in China and prepare pilots, mechanics and avionics technicians with Saudia Airlines. In addition, the aviation program is working toward a School of Aviation to encapsulate the aviation technologies, aviation management and aviation flight programs.

Collaborating for success: Michael Burgener, the program’s interim department chair in aviation management as well as the flight and aviation technologies chair, notes

the program’s growth, relevancy and reputation. Mr Burgener points to the strong foundation provided by the late Ron Kelly and Tony DaRosa, along with Dave NewMyer, who retired as aviation management and flight chair in 2014. Burgener also notes the faculty, students and strong alumni connections throughout the program’s six decades.

“They are the ones who worked over the last 60 years to develop the reputation and develop SIU,” Burgener said. “They worked to develop a reputation of success that is paying dividends today. It’s rewarding and a privilege for me to be a part of that and to contribute and carry on the tradition of success that SIU aviation has had.”

Growing the program: NewMyer, who joined SIU Carbondale in 1977 as an off-campus coordinator at Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, arrived on campus in 1979. He points to then-SIU President Delyte Morris’ affection for flying as one of the reasons SIU bought Midwestern Aero Services, the fixed-base operator at Southern Illinois Airport, for $56,000 in December 1960. Renamed Air Institute and Service, it offered flight coursework, aircraft fueling services and aircraft charter services until it was eliminated and replaced by the Department of Aviation Management and Flight in the early 1990s.

In 1965, the university began offering a two-year aviation maintenance technologies degree, the first formal SIU aviation degree program. This course of study has since transformed into a four-year aviation technologies degree, with specializations in aircraft maintenance, helicopter maintenance and aviation electronics.

The aviation management bachelor’s degree program began both on- and off-campus in the mid-1970s. In 1990, aviation began offering a master’s degree in public administration with a specialization in aviation administration. Aviation technologies also offers an online bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management.

Faculty with industry experience: Thomas Koebel, a senior aviation technology major from St. Charles, Illinois, said there were several factors in his decision to attend SIU – the varying types of aircraft within the program, the airport’s proximity to campus and the real-world experience of the faculty

Koebel says the hands-on component students receive in training from faculty with industry experience is vital.

“All of the instructors are super well-versed in the areas they are teaching,” Koebel said. “That is a really big factor in them being able to demonstrate and teach the material, because they have real-world experience and know what they are talking about.”

Transportation Education Center: The fall 2012 opening of the university’s Transportation Education Center at Southern Illinois Airport was critical for both the aviation and automotive programs, allowing both to move from aged facilities in various locations into one building with an adjacent aviation engine research test cell.

Because construction was under budget, the remaining funds helped buy equipment, including state-of-the-industry flight simulators, aviation maintenance equipment and an air traffic control simulator.

The improvements continue. In November, the program is slated to pick up five new Cessna 172S planes, featuring Garmin G1000 avionics and the first planes within the program to feature auto pilot.

Evolving connections: One of the program’s biggest connections has been its link with United Airlines, which NewMyer notes started with a historic flight operations internship agreement in July 1986. The United Airlines-SIU Aviation Career Day, which celebrated 25 years of service last fall, brings high school students from the Chicago area to campus to learn about the program from other students, faculty and alumni with United Airlines.

“Because of that connection to United and many other aviation entities from airports to aerospace manufacturers, alumni have been another key aspect of our program,” NewMyer said.

The program maintains a connection with more than 7,000 aviation alumni.

International presence: The aviation technologies’ program link with Shenyang Aerospace University in China is also something Burgener is excited about. Finalized in September 2019, the program is designed to work as a “2+2” degree program where Chinese students attend classes in China for two years and then

attend SIU Carbondale for their final two years.

Burgener taught the first two classes to 75 Shenyang students online this summer. Challenges included the time difference, where he began at 8 p.m. to correspond to 9 a.m. the next day to students in China, along with navigating Chinese technology. Burgener was limited to software available in China and was aided by a teaching assistant there who helped with grading and communication with students. The courses were a math-based statistics class with an aviation focus and a propellers course.

“If we can improve aviation safety anywhere in the world, then that is a benefit to aviation,” Burgener said.

The Flying Salukis: An important component of the aviation program is the Flying Salukis, which helps attract both students and their parents to the program. The flight team, comprised of 15 to 18 members, has earned nine National Intercollegiate Flying Association titles dating back to 1977, including recent championships in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Since 2011, the team has had nine straight top 3 national finishes, though it was unable to compete in May due to the pandemic.

More students, more demand for graduates: The combined student enrollment in the three programs has increased from 441 in 2017 to 612 this fall, including nearly 100 students enrolled at six off-campus locations in California, Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Even with layoffs within the aviation industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook notes the industry’s resiliency when faced with periodic downturns and projects an increasing demand for pilots and technicians as the “long-term need remains robust.”

Burgener predicts the same scenario, noting that before the pandemic there was a need for additional flight instructors. The availability of pilots to return as flight instructors aided the program particularly this year. The rise in students in all facets of the program projects “a confidence in the industry that it is going to snap back,” Burgener said.

“Before COVID, the industry was going gangbusters. You couldn’t find enough pilots; you couldn’t find enough mechanics,” Burgener said. “We had companies coming in and wanting to do pipeline agreements and internships. They were eager to hire our graduates.”



Nov. 3, 1926, Lindbergh parachutes to safety

September 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Air Mail Service. Charles A. Lindbergh was one of its early pilots. As chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Co., Lindbergh flew Air Mail Plane No. 109, a de Havilland DH–4, on night airmail routes from St. Louis, Missouri, to Chicago. On Nov. 3, 1926, Lindbergh left St. Louis at 4:20 p.m. and made his first stop at 5:15 p.m. in Springfield, Illinois. Taking to the air again, he encountered thick fog and, circling over lights he thought he saw in Peoria, eventually realized he couldn’t see to land. At 8:15 p.m. as the airplane ran out of gas, he climbed to 14,000 feet, stepped off the wing and parachuted to safety near Bloomington, Illinois. Lindbergh later found the aircraft wreckage on a nearby farm. It was the fourth time he had been forced to parachute on an airmail flight, and he resigned from Robertson that week. He would form the financial group for—and begin work on—his famous flight in the Spirit of St. Louis the next year.



By David Tulis 

The family-owned company traces its roots to patriarch Rudy Frasca’s personal visits to flight schools and colleges with a Model 100 flight simulator in tow. He’d labor through the day and night to install the coffin-shaped black box and then demonstrate its capability. The strategy cemented the company’s place in the flight training community  and led to a global business that counts civilian and military aviation clients in the United States, Australia, China, Germany, Japan and more. Though the pilot, researcher and engineer died in May, his children have continued a customer-focused approach to innovation.

When COVID-19 precautions eliminated airshows, trade shows and other face-to-face gatherings, the company decided to dig into the archives for inspiration. Marketing Manager Peggy Frasca Prichard, Rudy’s daughter, said that employees wanted to demonstrate the reconfigurable training device technology, so they decided on a grassroots road trip to take the device to the public, rather than the other way around.

“Dad used to drive around [with flight simulators], so we said, ‘Let’s go get the trailer on the road and bring this to the people.’”

The first leg of the Frasca “RTD On the Road” show has proved to be a popular attraction, with sales representative Juan Velasquez making his way through Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. The simulator he’s towing behind a Chevrolet Suburban can be reconfigured to mimic a Cessna 172, a Piper Archer or Seminole, or a Diamond DA40.

Velasquez will go out for a couple of weeks, drive around a region and leave it somewhere for others to try out, then retrieve the flight training device trailer and transport it to another city.

“Students are getting in and flying the RTD with their instructors, and everyone is all excited about it,” Prichard said. “We have masks, hand sanitizer, and it’s all COVID safe. People love it.”

A daytrip from Frasca’s Urbana, Illinois, headquarters to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, served as a September shakeout run before the first big trip through the Central Southwest. An interactive contact form helps direct Velasquez to potential stops, and he files social media reports to build a buzz about where he’s been and where he’s going next.

Velasquez has visited several flight instruction facilities at general aviation airports, schools and colleges. He said people are eager to see the traveling simulator and to try it out for themselves. At Oklahoma State University, he taught a student and flight instructor the reconfigurable machine’s basics and then dropped it off in front of the flight operations center for three weeks to let other students and instructors experience the technology.



Illinois Aviation newsletter has been in continuous print for 73 years with Vol. 1 / No. 1 launched in August 1948. The newsletter is available both in print and email versions and will soon be linked to the new Illinois Aviation Safety and Education website located at www.ilaviation.com/safety.



Do you know the name of the airport shown in this picture and the approximate timeframe taken? If so, please send an email to DOT.aero@illinois.gov. Those who provide the correct answer will have their names published (with permission), along with the correct answer, in the Q1 2021 edition of Illinois Aviation.

The answer from the last newsletter, Q3 2020, was Schaumburg Airport circa 1965. Congratulations to those who answered correctly!











Please disregard the telephone numbers on aircraft and pilot certificates, and use the following contact information:

Aircraft and Pilot Registrations:
Telephone:  217-785-8515
Email: DOT.Aero@illinois.gov


Illinois Aviation Newsletter 

Volume #72, Issue #3 | 3Q2020


By Clayton Stambaugh

From airports to aircraft owners and operators and every other individual and organization involved in the industry at all levels, we continue to face serious challenges in both our professional and personal lives. The pandemic persists in presenting new issues and has, to no one’s surprise, aggravated existing problems, which will likely continue into the near future. Now more than ever, as an aviation community, we must execute course correction through united maneuvers.

So far, through emergency procedures and assistance, notwithstanding some difficulty in implementation, Illinois Aviation has maintained some comfort in altitude overall. However, the drag of existing issues and the gravity of the overarching situation will continue to grow and challenge us to maintain a level course. All the while, despite being in the prairie state, the bottom-line continues to rise in elevation as the horizon remains unclear.

A better balance on all forces, and a clear vision beyond uncertainty, is necessary for Illinois Aviation to rise and overcome. Further innovation, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability, through technology and reform, is critical. It won’t be easy. I have often heard it compared to simultaneously trying to control, navigate, and rebuild an aircraft in the middle of a thunderstorm. However, we’ve already encountered energized coordination and cooperation throughout the whole of Illinois Aviation that is not only being maintained but also enhanced, through new initiatives and joint efforts. For more information on the Illinois Aviation System Plan and Economic Impact Analysis, have a look at www.ILaviation.com.

A brief glimpse of these activities can be found within this newsletter, and we welcome engagement for additional momentum this fall. There is clearly much more to come.

To that end, please reach out to me at clayton.stambaugh@illinois.gov or 217-785-8481 with comments, suggestions, questions or concerns.

I am confident that together, we can recover from these tumultuous altitudes and lift each other, and Illinois Aviation, to new heights.

Clear skies!



Bureau Chief of Aviation Safety and Education Troy Reiser announced the formation of the Illinois Aviation Education Task Force.  “Under a directive from our Deputy Director, Clayton Stambaugh we are busy working with the DCEO, ISBE, FAA, NGOs and private enterprises to lay the Task Force framework”, said Troy Reiser.  “The mission is to facilitate and develop aviation education career paths for high school students in Illinois utilizing all resources available from private and public sponsors to prepare them to pursue a course of study in any of the aviation disciplines.”  More information can be found at www.ilaviation.com/safety.


Illinois airports are getting over $446 million in federal funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding - part of $10 billion the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarded to airports across the U.S. to help with operations - will go to 78 airports in the state. The FAA is distributing the funds after passage and approval of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The idea behind the funding is to support continued operations at Illinois airports and to replace lost revenue resulting from a lack of business and activity during the pandemic. Funds can be used for operating expenses including items like payroll and utilities and debt payments. In some instances, the funds can be used for capital expenditures.

The FAA is encouraging airports to spend this grant money with haste to slow down the negative impacts of the pandemic. In another section of the CARES Act, recipients of the fiscal year 2020 appropriations for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Supplemental Discretionary grants will not have to contribute a matching percentage of project costs. The federal government will cover the entire amount.

A milestone was reached mid-September with funds starting to flow regularly to airports. IDA would like to thank recipients for their patience as this new type of funding for operations and maintenance is implemented and looks forward to working together to making continual improvements to this critical airport assistance program.

Click here for an interactive map from the FAA showing the list of ALL Illinois airports receiving funding.



IASP LogoOver the past several months, the consulting team for the Illinois Aviation System Plan (IASP) and Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) have been hard at work collecting data necessary to evaluate the Illinois airport system. Thanks to the 80+ airport managers and airport representatives who attended the virtual calls and provided much-needed information, this plan would not be successful without your participation! In addition to airport outreach, the consultant team has also been contacting various aviation stakeholder groups. Stakeholder outreach is imperative to gather qualitative information to help inform the analyses and highlight unique stories. Thank you to those who have participated!

Now that data has been collected, the IASP and EIA are now able to move to the second phase. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be compiling every data point received from the airports. As many of you noticed, we have obtained a significant amount of data that is in process of being evaluated. IASP evaluations will be documented in the Inventory and System Performance chapter, which is planned to be posted to the project website in draft form later this Fall. EIA modeling will continue through the Fall as surveys are received.

IDOT and the consultant team are preparing for a virtual Technical Advisory Committee meeting in November! We are excited to present detailed results from the data collection process, as well as environmental and intermodal access findings. Be on the lookout for the presentation. More to come!

Be sure to continue monitoring the progress of both the IASP and EIA through the project website at www.ILaviation.com. Draft documents, as well as Advisory Committee meeting materials, will be uploaded to the website periodically as they are made available for public review.

Lastly, if you have professional-grade photos of Illinois aviation or airports, please send to Zach.DeVeau@Kimley-Horn.com. We’d love to feature your pictures in the reports, brochures, and/or presentations!

We thoroughly appreciate your continued engagement and participation in both projects!



The most amazing facts about the Cessna 172 Skyhawk are two-fold. First, that it is still in production after 63 years. Second, and maybe more amazing, is that the first 172 produced are still alive and well. The current owner of one of these beauties, Dennis Ozment, EAA 854708, of Quincy, was proud to show it off at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 where the aircraft was named Grand Champion.

Grand Champion - Gold Lindy
Dennis Ozment
Quincy, Illinois
1955 Cessna 172, N5000A

Watch the complete story on Illinois Stories Cessna 172 WQEC TV PBS Quincy.


By Dave Weiman, reprinted with permission from MidwestFlyer.com

It was time to complete my biennial flight review, and my flight instructor encouraged me to first take AOPA’s Rusty Pilots Online Course for three reasons: 1) it’s an excellent review of regulations and procedures, 2) it meets the requirements of the ground training portion of the flight review, and 3) it’s free to AOPA members!

Since the 1970s, BFRs have been required of all pilots who intend to act as pilot-in-command, as per Federal Aviation Regulation Section 61.56.

The BFR consists of a minimum of 1 hour of flight training and 1 hour of ground training. It must include a review of the current general operating and flight rules of Part 91, and a review of those maneuvers and procedures that, at the discretion of the person giving the review, are necessary for the pilot to demonstrate the safe exercise of the privileges of the pilot certificate.

The review should be a proficiency evaluation accomplished in an economical and expeditious manner, while providing a learning experience, without the pressure associated with a check-ride. Still, if your flight instructor feels that you are not fit to fly, he will not sign off.

Prior to the review, the pilot and flight instructor should discuss the flight review’s basic content, including the elements to be covered in both the oral and flight portions. These elements should be understood by the pilot and the flight instructor prior to initiating any phase of the review.

Like many of you, I have been flying continuously for a very long time, and it has become second nature. Still, we all need to avoid becoming complacent and practice on a regular basis to stay proficient.

Before now, I always looked at AOPA’s Rusty Pilots Course as something good for pilots who have not been flying for a while, and it is. But now having taken the online course, I am convinced that it provides an excellent review for active pilots as well.

Short quizzes after each chapter test your knowledge and grasp of each subject area. The “Rusty Pilots Resource Guide” is also a very useful tool, available online and from AOPA at each of its in-person Rusty Pilots Seminars.

After you complete the online course, you receive a “Certificate of Course Completion” you can print out and show your flight instructor, and that will count towards the ground training portion of your biennial flight review, thus saving you time and money.

In addition to taking the Rusty Pilots Online Course, I reviewed my Pilot’s Operating Handbook for my airplane, especially those chapters that cover normal and emergency operating procedures, short and soft-field takeoffs and landings, and airspeeds, such as the best rate of climb (Vy) and best angle of climb (Vx).

During the flight portion of the review, my instructor simulated smoke in the cockpit, and I demonstrated how best to get the aircraft on the ground in the shortest amount of time. We also practiced loss-of-power-on-takeoff procedures, power-off emergency landings, and short-field takeoffs and landings.

Again, the Rusty Pilots Online Course is free to AOPA members, but donations to the AOPA Air Safety Institute are welcome.

Here’s a link to the course:

https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/lapsed-pilots/rusty-pilots. Otherwise, you can go to www.aopa.org, select the Training & Safety Section, and then Lapsed Pilots and Rusty Pilots Seminars. There, you will find information on completing your flight review. For additional information, email rustypilots@aopa.org  or call 1-800-USA-AOPA.

Speaking of the importance and convenience of taking online courses, I want to remind you that if you haven’t yet registered for a free online subscription to Midwest Flyer Magazine, I encourage you to do so without delay. Simply go to www.MidwestFlyer.com and click the “Subscribe Now” banner ad, or go directly to the signup page: https://midwestflyer.com/?page_id=12844.



Illinois Aviation newsletter has been in continuous print for 73 years with Vol. 1 / No. 1 launched in August 1948. The newsletter is available both in print and email versions and will soon be linked to the new Illinois Aviation Safety and Education website located at www.ilaviation.com/safety.


AIRPORT TRIVIA – Name that airport RETURNS!

Do you know the name of the airport shown in this picture and the approximate timeframe was taken? If so, please send an email to DOT.aero@illinois.gov. Those who provide the correct answer will have their names published (with permission), along with the correct answer, in the Q4 2020 edition of Illinois Aviation.

The answer from the last newsletter, Q2 2020, was Metropolis Airport circa 1970. Congratulations to those who answered correctly!  Charles O'Connell, Robert Bejna, David Borger, Randy Seller, Steven Spector



Please disregard the telephone numbers on aircraft and pilot certificates, and use the following contact information:

Aircraft and Pilot Registrations:
Telephone:  217-785-8515
Email: DOT.Aero@illinois.gov