2008 Chicago Air and Water Show

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kc9fsa

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Is anybody planning on going to the Chicago air and water show. Does anybody have info for this years show
 
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chgomonitor

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50th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/w...go+Air+and+Water+Show&entityNameEnumValue=183

Next weekend, starting Thursday. US Navy Blue Angels are the headliners. The Terminal Flight Restrictions have been issued and give a pretty good feel for what we can expect in terms of flying schedules (weather permitting);

Gary Night Hangar Party Thu Aug 14th 3:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Chgo North Ave Beach Thu Aug 14th 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Chgo North Ave Beach Fri Aug 15th 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Chgo North Ave Beach Sat Aug 16th 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Chgo North Ave Beach Sun Aug 17th 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday is special this year. Traditionally a practice day, this year it is a full show. It's scheduled to kick off at 3:00 PM with a Blue Angels demo. Free concert at 5:00 PM by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan band at North Avenue beach. Fireworks at 8:45 PM. Schedule mixed with flying. I hear Bill Murray will be tandem jumping with the Golden Knights. On Saturday and Sunday the water portion of the show starts at 9:00 AM, and the show site usually starts filling up around then.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if we started seeing some show line and Gary spotting flights as early as Wednesday.

No, I don't have the platform frequency and approach and departure pairs. The last few years have seen a re-use of what was used at the Gary air show, which was 125.200 / 353.500 this year.

Frequencies reported for the Blue Angels this year have included;

142.6125 (FM) Ground support
139.8125 (FM) Ground support
275.3500 (AM) Diamond
237.8000 (AM) Solos
238.1500 (AM) Solos
284.2500 (AM) Alternate
255.2000 (AM) Alternate
346.5000 (AM) Ground and spotting
305.5000 (AM) Fat Albert

The Golden Knights have been using their 123.475 channel a lot this year and we are also getting the US Navy Leapfrogs. The frogs are in town and have already been working some Chicago events. They jumped a W flag into Wrigley yesterday for the Cardinals opener, bless 'em.

Most flying takes off and lands at Gary, Indiana;

125.600 / 256.700 Tower
133.100 / 285.600 Approach & Departure

Chicago Tracon in Elgin manages the airspace for the show. Best bets;

126.800 / 308.400 Chicago Radar & VFR
126.800 / 398.950 Used as a pair last year for the show
126.050 / 388.000 Midway Radar
120.550 / 290.200 Chicago Departure North & Lakefront

Some of the heavies will probably be operating from O'Hare. I'd suggest the seldom used Pilot Dispatch pair there;

126.200 / 372.200 ORD Pilot Dispatch

Other O'Hare stuff usually merits watching, such as the Tower and Approach and Departure frequency pairs - especially those covering the east side of the airspace. The holding point for the show is out over the lake, well north of the show site. Lake Michigan and Indiana military airspace sometimes see some warm up and playing use, as well as a few of the area refueling tracks and anchors. You might also want to keep half an ear on Chicago Center frequency pairs.

Show ops usually employ UHF business band low power simplex rental radios in the 460-470 MHz band. I'm anticipating the Chicago Fire Department and EMS team will employ some of the City's new 470 MHz channels. The Marine Band is always hopping at the show, and you'll find the Coast Guard there, as well. Expect to find the Chicago Police Department using all their event channels and some related zone and Citywide traffic;

460.250 Citywide 6 Usually event site primary
460.350 Citywide 5 Usually event alternate & traffic control
460.300 Citywide 7 Traffic Management Aides
460.125 Citywide 1
460.175 Citywide 2
460.150 Zone 4 1st & 18th Districts (downtown area)
460.525 Channel 5 low power unit to unit direct

The Chicago Police Marine units can be found on the CPD's 800 MHz trunked system. The Office of Emergency Management usually sets up their mobile command post, and they have their own trunked system. Try 458.075 for the Chicago Park District lifeguard supervisors at the North Avenue site (simplex).

Just about anything you can think of is probably worth checking at the show. FAA, FRS, ISR, MURS, Itinerants, Media frequencies, even ham radio. CARMA usually has some presence on 145.770 (151.4 CTCSS) simplex. Try searching 122 - 124 MHz for air to air stuff.

This is a very challenging show to monitor successfully, especially from the show site, which is loaded with inter-modulation distortion from all the nearby high powered transmitters. Think less antenna, attenuators and/or filters. It is also Chicago's biggest mega-event and usually draws over one million people each day on Saturday and Sunday. Support facilities and food are very limited. Parking is almost non-existent, think public transportation.

We usually try to get down to the show site for some early recon on Thursday and attend the show on Friday at and around the North Avenue beach house. On Saturday we set up a monitoring post and picnic spot under the last few trees at the far east end of the Fullerton point. Sunday usually sees a few of us roaming the show line for more serious photo work. Come join us.

We'll be posting findings here as they happen.

Oh, and Volk Field / CRTC in northern Wisconsin is having their open house this weekend, too. Airspace is reserved there Aug 15 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM and on Aug 16 from 11:00 AM to roughly 3:00 PM. I've seen contact telephone numbers listed for this event as 608-427-1201 and 608-427-1210.

Happy Air Show Scanning! - Ted
 

chgomonitor

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123.475

123.475 The Colaborators and Team Oracle working air to air along the lake shore all morning, doing media promo shots. Good listening.
 

chgomonitor

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Wednesday Activity So Far

I was out working in the yard this morning out here in Wheeling and had a single ship B1 bomber overfly the house southbound towards O'Hare, cool.

Hearing some Blue Angels activity on 237.800 (AM). I understand they are doing some media rides today. 237.800 is active right now.

I'm hearing some major practice runs are scheduled for Thursday down at North Avenue starting around 10AM.

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 

chgomonitor

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Wednesday Evening Review

125.200 I didn't actually hear the traffic, but fairly reliable channel hit counters at the house counted 53 hits here early this evening. I'm guessing this is the VHF platform frequency for the show. To be confirmed...

346.500 Counted two hits here which should be a Blue Angels frequency. But again, didn't actually hear the traffic.

123.475 Frequency continues in use as sort of a general air to air discrete channel for various team activity today.

126.050 Again, counted some activity here today. Could be Midway traffic or a show arrival / departure channel. Give it a listen.

Also had a search and store milair routine running all day and got some unusual hits, these may merit some listening;

286.100
268.700
236.400
267.950
345.350

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 

chgomonitor

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Air Combat Command Demos

Looks like we'll be getting some USAF Air Combat Command demo stuff, so;

384.550
376.025

And if the Apache Helos show up, try 280.800.

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 

CORN

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The Blue Angels flew nearby my QTH in Nashville, TN this afternoon casual chatting on 275.35 and 237.8 and i heard one of the aircraft check in with boss on 284.25 passing the ATIS for Gary, IN. Hope you guys enjoy. I never heard them with ATC as they slipped on through.
 

chgomonitor

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Thursday Afternoon Report

Thursday afternoon report:

I got to the show site around 9:30 AM and met Jeff, (thanks for coming down buddy! And thanks for the Castaways Nachos - yummy). They were putting the finishing touches on the platform, without the usual Humvee this year. Signal Stalker function on my Pro-97 nabbed both the VHF and UHF Platform frequencies on the initial radio tune ups and radio checks, so cool...

134.100 / 398.100 Platform (both AM mode)

On the initial UHF radio tune ups my Opto Scout also recorded 398.250 and 398.150 but neither of those hit in signal stalker.

The platform itself was hardly active at all today, but enough to confirm the pair. The Blue Angels did a landmark spotting run, first by the Diamond pilots who quickly split into two pairs, then by the solos. The Angels returned later in the afternoon for a more complete rehearsal.

275.350 Diamond formation
237.800 Diamond as two pair
284.250 Solos
305.500 Fat Albert
255.200 Not heard at show site but 7 hits recorded from home

Angels had their flight team out on the breakwater and their narrator / spotter and his staff on the platform. They used 142.6125 (FM) to communicate. One of their radios was outputting a 151.4 Hz CTCSS tone on transmit, but all the others were carrier squelch. All analog traffic, no P25 stuff from them.

125.600 / 256.700 Gary Tower - both very busy

126.800 seemed to be in use to a slight degree for some arrival / departure traffic. Also heard some en-route traffic contacting Midway on 118.400. I may know more later tonight regarding anything assigned for route contact and Aux frequencies. Also recorded a couple of hits on 126.050 today.

Angels Solo practice almost got seriously marred by an airspace intruder, some real imbecile in a north bound Cessna. They seriously buzzed right under him at show center, well deserved and quite a sight to see!

Caught some Lincoln Park Zoo traffic on 151.190, 151.295 & 151.955. Also some signal stalker hits on 151.055 and 158.0025, both unknown but active at the show or nearby.

Staff is carrying Motorola PR-400 UHF rental radios from Comm Direct. The event staff folks - the yellow shirt guys and some others were all on "channel 2" today - 467.325 (151.4) simplex. I also caught some show related traffic on 462.525 (151.4) simplex. These may have been the admins, platform staff and/or perhaps the guys setting up the very large bandstand for the concert Friday. Some other misc hits in the 467 MHz band from an Opto Scout, none confirmed as show related except maybe 469.2625 - but it also had traffic from a Lake Shore Drive Condo Building - D411 DCS, guys fixing a bathtub.

USCG Patrol Commander "PatCom" was up on 157.075 and UCSG Aux was heard on 157.175. No USCG Cutter on site yet. Caught some CPD Marine unit traffic on the trunked system.

Aside from the Angels the only other performers who showed up while I was there were a couple of brief passes by the collaborators. They were again doing media promotional video shots and audio feeds for the show along the shoreline. They were again on 123.475. No blimps on site today.

And yes, the site becomes more intermod challenging every year. My little Icom R-2 was also getting badly swamped out. I suggest using the attenuator function as much as possible if your radio has one.

Happy Air and Water Show Scanning! - Ted and Jeff
 
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chgomonitor

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2345

Nice catch, Mike. 234.500 has been showing up in my search and store logs for the past 2 days. Its a somewhat common tactical channel for USAF ("two,three,four,five").

--- In carmachicago@yahoogroups.com, mws72@... wrote:
>
> Recorded 234.5 today at 1443. Unknown aircraft requesting wingman to contact since they were 15 minutes out Gary Tower for wx and request permission for airport flyby and then inbound to initial. Last transmission heard at 1451.
>
> Michael W. Scheel N0NGL
> Davenport, Iowa
> WWW.QUADCITIESSCAN.COM
>
 

chgomonitor

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Lifeguards

One more from Thursday;

458.075 (210.7) Chicago Park District Life Guard Supervisors simplex

Anybody hearing any show ops on the city's new T-Band systems? Reports appreciated...

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 

chgomonitor

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CARMA Activities

On Friday (today) several of us planning on attending the 3PM-9PM show. We'll be roaming around the North Ave beach house. Can't miss it - looks like a big ship run ashore. Can't miss us - we are the guys with all the cameras and radios. Say hi!

On Saturday we are out on the Fullerton Avenue point at the far north end of the show line. We set up a little bring your own picnic and monitoring post. We are out there from sunrise until well after the show ends. Directions;

1. Walk east on Fullerton Avenue through the Lake Shore Drive underpass. Cross the crosswalk across the LSD off ramp and enter the show site via the fence opening. Fullerton is the next LSD exit north of the North Avenue / LaSalle exit. (But forget your dreams of parking near the show site, LOL). Watch out for mad bicyclists and roller bladers while walking.

2. Continue walking due east past the hot dog stand along the sidewalk. About 50 yards east the sidewalk turns to the left (north). Look to your left under the last few trees out on the Fullerton Point. That's us with the camp chairs and radios in a nice, shady spot. Anyone in good spirits is more than welcome to come say hello or join us. We are radio friendly, to say the least.

The Fullerton Point is a nice alternative spot. It isn't show center but that avoids the packed crowds and blowing sand and burning sun at North Avenue. And, being at the north end of the show line we usually get severely buzzed by on north show line exits. You can do some decent photo work from there, too.

CARMA simplex is on 145.770 (151.4). You can try calling us if you are near the show site. But forgive us if we don't answer - consistently monitoring for two way ham communications is pretty challenging. You are more likely to catch us there on Saturday than on Friday.

There are often several of us down at show center or roaming the show line doing photo work on Sunday, too.

Come join us and have a great time at the 50th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show!

Ted (N9UQW)
 

chgomonitor

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Thursday Nigh Gary Updates

Late reports from Thursday night at Gary:

Golden Knights having trouble with 123.475 and experimenting with an alternate - 123.500

Air Combat Command demos on 376.025

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 

Astro25

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Oops... accidentally posted another thread in the IL forum.


I'll be there on Saturday, monitoring the Ctiywides and on Fishfar.



Astro25
 

brienf

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Hello everyone. New to scanning, thanks for posting all this great info.

Over lunch I heard the acrobatic air team (four planes, two of them bi-planes, i think) on 123.1500

Also, my scanner has all of the military frequencies blocked out (Radio Shack Pro-137). Can someone point me in the direction of a scanner that doesn't do this? Thanks!
 
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chgomonitor

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Friday early report

Friday early report...

I got down to the show site about 12:30, giant crowd and total traffic mayhem. Flying started today about 10 or 11am and drew an early crowd. After an hour sitting in gridlock I gave up on trying to find a parking lot within a couple of miles and actually headed back. Listening from home right now...Newly confirmed:

234.500 T-38's air to air tac
123.475 Golden Knight Air
126.800 Show Arv/Dep

Platform continues on 134.100 today.
 
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chgomonitor

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chgomonitor

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Friday Mid-Show Updates

Friday mid-show updates...

134.100 / 257.200 Platform today, reportedly using their alternate UHF

126.800 / 308.400 Show Arrival & Departure

138.475 (AM) Illini flight F-16's Victor-16 air tac

272.175 CODER62 Tanker demo

123.150 Apparent show discrete, several teams air to air

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 
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