July 29, 2003
The day after Chicago's Meigs Field proved its value again, the FAA stuck another nail in the airport's coffin. On Sunday, an aircraft flying just north of the airport on its way to Oshkosh suffered an electrical failure and made an emergency landing in the grass alongside the rubble from Meigs' torn-up runway. On Monday, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revoke the Class D airspace around the closed airport.
"Twice in as many weeks, aircraft have set down at Meigs despite the closure, due to in-flight situations," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But Mayor Daley still plans to begin final demolition of the runway in less than a month."
A spokesperson for the FAA praised the pilot in Sunday's incident, telling the Chicago Tribune, "He did the correct thing and that is to put the aircraft down safely."
But in its NPRM, the agency said, "The City of Chicago has permanently closed Merrill C. Meigs Airport, Chicago, IL, and therefore there is no longer a requirement for the existing Class D airspace."
The FAA is accepting comments on the NPRM. Visit the federal Docket Management System, click the search button, and enter the docket number (15398), or go directly to document FAA-2003-15398-1. The deadline for submitting comments is September 29, 2003.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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