Sunday, April 3, 2005

The Windy City

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
03 Apr 2005 N21481 0D1 (South Haven, MI) - C91 (Dowagiac, MI) - 0D1 2.5 301.4

During flight training, I often dreamed of landing at Meigs Field on the Chicago waterfront.  On March 31 2003, about six months after I earned my private pilot certificate, Chicago's Mayor Dailey used misappropriated FAA funds to finance the bulldozing of Meigs' runway under cover of darkness.
So much for my dream.
Despite this, a couple of years later, I flew along the shoreline to sightsee.  The view was magnificent, though the park that replaced Meigs Field looked like a dreadful, barren place.   For aircraft remaining over the water, staying below 3000 feet was all that was necessary to keep out of O'Hare's overlying Bravo airspace.  The irony here is that Dailey's original excuse for destroying Meigs was to improve security in the post-September 11 world.  In reality, the closure of the field made the airspace along the Chicago waterfront much less restrictive to anyone wanting to fly along the lakeshore like I was doing.

The Navy Pier, not used by the Navy so much anymore (the ferris wheel clued me in to that).

Directly abeam the Navy Pier with the mouth of the Chicago River visible at frame left.

The John Hancock Building.  Not the tallest in Chicago by a long shot, but it's pretty darn tall.

Wide angle shot of the waterfront.  This was as far north as I flew before turning around and heading back south along Lake Michigan.

One of the world's tallest buildings, the Sears Tower.  Not the most aesthetically pleasing work of architecture in the city, but the view from the top of this thing is amazing.