The Chicago Air and Water Show commences this coming weekend, lasting two days. The first day is Saturday, August 20th, 2011. Each year, the VHF aviation service frequencies change along with the UHF through microwave frequencies. There is much to hear at the Chicago Air and Water Show. Since most anyone can remember, CARMA (Chicago Area Radio Monitoring Association) has been there the day before and for the full show each of the two days.
The hard work done by CARMA has ensured for many years running, that the casual / serious radio communications monitor and the licensed radio amateur are aware of specific frequencies being used. Monitoring this show from the perspective of the air traffic controllers and the pilots adds an extra dimension to being witness to the biggest and best air show known to man.
Here is your frequency rundown of the 2011 Chicago Air & Water Show, courtesy of the postings in the Chicago Metro section of RadioReference as compiled by chgomonitor, a senior / founding member of CARMA and others: (by way of fair use)
This piece will be updated as new information becomes available and frequencies are verified.
Until then, you can access the CARMA Chicago Aviation Frequency Profiles by clicking the links below which will open the stated PDF Files: Note that you will want to pay specific attention to the Gary, Indiana Tower frequency since the show participants are mostly coming from that airport.
|Frequencies confirmed for Saturday Aug 20th 2011|
Chicago O'Hare Frequency Profile
Illinois Airports Profile (Pay attention here to Midway Airport, and Rockford Airport)
Illinois Airports Charts (possibly outdated, still a good reference)
Chicago Center Sites
The 2010 Air and Water Show frequencies worth keeping an eye on this year:
134.100 / 353.500 Gary show 2010 Platform
118.400 / 353.875 Gary show 2010 Tracon Arv/Dep
125.200 / 317.500 Chgo show 2009 Platform primary
123.100 / 270.250 Chgo show 2009 Platform alternate
126.800 / 308.400 Chgo show 2009 Arv/Dep
125.600 / 256.700 Gary Tower
134.100 / 253.500 Rockford show 2010 Platform
134.100 / 257.200 Chgo show 2008 Platform primary
134.100 / 398.100 Chgo show 2008 Platform alternate
458.075 (210.7) (FM) Chgo Park Dist Lifeguard Supervisors
460.250 (162.2) CPD Citywide 6
460.350 ( 97.4) CPD Citywide 5
USCG VHF FM Channels & Marine Band in general
Chgo Park Dist - 151.190 151.295
CPD 800 TRS for the CPD Marine Units
Castaways restaurant at North Ave beach house - 469.2625
Search 122.000 -to- 124.000, 25 KHz steps in AM mode for air to air, air to ground and show discrete audio relays.
Refueling possibles - 277.700 305.500 291.900 320.900 346.525 298.775 283.775
2010 Acts (all flying, no static displays at this show);
US Navy Blue Angels
346.500 Ground Ops
305.900 Fat Albert
255.200 Advance and Spotting
139.8125 (FM) Ground Support
142.6125 (FM) Ground Support
AeroShell - 123.150
Lima Lima - 123.575 123.175
Sean Tucker & Team Oracle
Red Bull Helo
US Army Golden Knights - 123.475 123.575 123.150
Leapfrogs - 407.500 (FM) 270.000
USAF Viper West - 376.025 384.550 282.800
B1B Bombers - 311.000 321.000 303.000
US Army Blackhawks - 242.400
KC-135 - 277.700
USAF T6 - 123.150
US Navy F18 Super Hornet
Heritage Flight - 122.425 122.475 136.500 136.575
USAF T38 - 234.500
USCG Demo - 157.050
64.9375 (D532) Channel 1. Event Support Staff primary. This is the largest group of users present, but they weren't always the busiest on the radio, with all the set-up stuff going on. These are the yellow shirt support staff.
461.2750 (D702) Set-up crews primary. Mechanics and field personnel, etc.
464.5000 (D165) Unknown activity (show electrical work?)
464.9125 Scout hit, possibly a rental radio
134.100 (AM) VHF Platform frequency used in multiple radios
458.075 (210.7) Chicago Park District Lifeguard Supervisors
151.295 (114.8) Chgo Park District Repeater / LPZ
151.190 (114.8) Chgo Park District Repeater / LPZ
151.955 (D065) Lincoln Park Zoo Repeater
237.800 (AM) Blue Angels solos.
284.250 (AM) Blue Angels solos. Also some ground activity on site at North Avenue between the platform and their remote site out on the breakwater pier.
275.350 (AM) Blue Angels Diamond.
305.900 (AM) Momentary transmissions by Blue Angels staff.
255.200 (AM) Used a little towards the end by the Angels. Seemed to be coordinating their return to Gary after the practice.
142.6125 (FM) Blue Angels ground support and coordination at the North Avenue show site. Platform to remote site comms.
Hits were also heard on these frequencies last year:
122.850 - 12 Hits
136.500 - 5 Hits
123.150 - 87 Hits
123.475 - 28 Hits
126.800 - 4 Hits
125.600 - 48 Hits (Gary Tower VHF)
123.575 - 5 Hits
284.250 - 2 Hits (Heavily used at the site, though)
275.250 - 4 Hits (same)
237.800 - >100 Hits
122.750 - >100 Hits
122.925 - 2 Hits
123.425 - 51 Hits
123.450 - 56 Hits
311.000 - 1 Hits
134.100 / 353.500 Platform
118.400 / 308.400 Tracon
125.600 / 256.700 Gary Tower
123.575 Lima-Lima Air to Air
123.425 Firebirds Air to Air
123.150 Aeroshell and Golden Knights
122.125 Rob Holland discrete
266.600 A10 UHF Discrete
138.750 A10 VHF Discrete (AM)
47.00 Blackhawk Helos air to air (FM)
376.025 Viper West discrete
469.2625 (D506) Simplex. Castaways F1
464.5750 (000.0) Simplex. Castaways F2
SLAYER - B1's
RHINO - F18
VIPER - F16
Jesse98 - C130
RAVEN - A10's
Happy - KC-135
Holding points in 2010 were LAIRD to the north east and THOR to the west.
NOTAM For 2011 Chicago Air and Water Show:
Other ways you can watch the show live or otherwise monitor the show are:
Justin.TV LIVE Aircraft Communications Feed from Chicago's John Hancock Center
Aircraft show freqs as well as all marine, and Chicago Police and Fire freqs are now in the mix at Radioman 911 on Justin.TV
Listen to WBBM News Radio 780 and 105.9FM
Channel 7 LIVE webstream
Chicago Air and Water Show Twitter
Chicago Air and Water Show Facebook
The show website also says you can use your cell phone by doing the following:
Text "airshow" to 780780 to get alerts about which act is coming up next
Txt & data rates may apply. Upon joining, you'll also get breaking news alerts from WBBM Newsradio.