Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


I Miss Merrill C Meigs

January 20, 1981

The Chicago lakefront airport. Not the guy the airport was named for. I never knew the guy. I did know the airport. Quite well. The designator "CGX" appears in my logbooks perhaps multiple hundreds of times over my career as a charter then a corporate pilot. It was an absolute shame and probably a Federal crime when that corrupt and cowardly Chicago Mayor Richard Daley dastardly sent the city bulldozers onto the airport in the middle of the night to destroy the runway after the FAA told him to keep the airport open. Now, it's a park that costs the city money, whereas as an airport it was a gateway for income to the city and its businesses.

I had to choose one logbook entry to represent this story, and I chose the day President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, when one of his first actions was his announcement of a deal to get the Americans held hostage in Iran returned. I was at the CGX terminal upstairs in the Butler aviation pilot's lounge, watching these events unfold on TV, because our departure for home base was being delayed, waiting for below-minimums fog affecting the home base to improve.

But almost every trip to Meigs could be worth a separate story. It was a fun trip. One only had to take a short walk to the Hayden Planetarium, jump on a city bus, and go almost anywhere to do almost anything: lunch, shopping, tourism.

An aerial view of the airport runway with the city in the background is below, along with a typical ramp-side view. The terminal itself is a work of art, and it still exists, as a park attraction. Go see it if you can, while in Chicago, and mourn Merrill C Meigs. The airport. Not the guy.



References for Non-Pilots: