Friday, August 30, 2019

Chicago O'Hare, American Airlines to Bid Final Farewell to MD-80 Aircraft

This graphic, created by Chicago-One News consists of an MD-80 approaching O'Hare taken by Dani Hensley, and a tower photo by the same photographer shown at bottom. The American Airlines logo belongs to American Airlines. All other graphics used are courtesy of FlightRadar24

The McDonnel-Douglas MD-80, also known as the "Super 80" has served O'Hare International Airport for decades. McDonnel-Douglas manufactured the MD-80 series of aircraft for two decades from 1979 to 1999, and among the biggest purchases from the company came from American Airlines. 

The aircraft series consisted of the MD-81, 82, 83, 87, and 88. Swiss Air was the first to use this aircraft in commercial service on October 10th, 1980. American Airlines purchased 43. 
The final revenue flight will be flight AA80 from Dallas/Ft Worth to Chicago, departing DFW at 9:00 and arriving in Chicago at 11:35. The final ever flight of the AA MD-80 will leave Chicago O'Hare (ORD) at 1:30PM with a final destination of Roswell, New Mexico (ROW). 

The specific aircraft models in the MD-80 (Super 80) series flown by American Airlines throughout the airline's history were the MD-82 and 83. American Airlines will replace these aircraft with the troubled Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

History of The MD-80 at American Airlines

On August 12th, 2019, American Airlines released a three page statement, called, "Reflecting From The MD-80 Cockpit". That was only the first press release from American Airlines on the topic of the imminent retirement of this classic commercial aviation icon that will serve O'Hare International Airport's runways, taxiways, and the gates of American's O'Hare terminal 3 one final time on September 4th, 2019. 

American Airlines first flew the MD-80 (Super 80) on May 2nd, 1984 with Captain Tom Senning, and First Officer Doug Ebersole at the controls. Both of these fine, and now, historic aviators are from Santa Barbara, California.

I'll never forget that day, Capt. Tom offered me the take off," Doug said. "It was so clear and beautiful. I wanted to impress the crowds and allow the cameras to capture the perfect takeoff. In the midst of the excitement, I forgot one of my audible commands —'gear up' — until Tom reminded me after I was in the air and well into the turn. At that point, what would have been perfect photo, was a photo of the plane ascending with the landing gear still in its extended position."

American Airlines photo

The story of how American Airlines First Officer Doug Ebersole gained the historic honor of being the first AA Pilot to have the controls at takeoff is one every pilot dreams of. Doug admits that he had to pull some strings to obtain the honor to be included on that first flight, as staffing is based on seniority. At the time, he was a relatively new pilot and Tom was No. 23 among the 30 licensed MD-80 pilots, having more than 18 years of experience. 

Not all of today's pilots across the globe have flown an MD-80, and curious passengers, even regular American Airlines customers who have soared into the sky many times aboard this aircraft may ask of pilots what it's like to be in the cockpit. American Airlines says, "it's a pilot's airplane". 

American Airlines photo

"It is very old school, there aren't any modern computer screens affixed to the controls," said Flight Operations Director David Clark. "The steering columns are connected to a cable that goes directly to the flight controls. You can feel it give and pull throughout each flight, and it is a thrilling experience that pilots trained on newer aircraft may never experience."

American Airlines Check Airman, R.D. Johnson elaborates further on the MD-80 cockpit.
Customers usually don't get a firsthand view of the cockpit. And, to anyone who isn't a pilot, the sight can be overwhelming. The MD-80 cockpit interior is one of the last commercial aircraft primarily made of round dials to gauge every aspect of the aircraft. Check Airman R.D. Johnson said the manual operation of the aircraft was gratifying.

"Every captain has a special bond with the aircraft, as it's very much like watching an old movie. It's a sense of nostalgia that speaks to the rich history of our airline and the skill required of every pilot," said Check Airman R.D. Johnson. "In its prime, the MD-80 was very responsive and had what we considered state-of-the-art technology. Though it's now outdated in comparison, we perfected the craft of flying on this plane and enjoyed every minute of it."

For many seasoned American Airlines pilots, flying the MD-80 has been considered a rite of passage. To fly the airplane that played a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of the network was an honor in itself. After all, it was a game changer for the airline, and our pilots were navigating from the cockpit the entire time.

"As for parting words," said Greg. "We've had many highs and lows throughout the MD-80's history, and many of our customers and team members hold memories they'll never forget. Whatever we choose to remember about the aircraft, the last 36 years was certainly time well spent."

Call Me "Mad Dog" - The Unique Industry Moniker For The MD Super-80

The Boeing 747 was called "Queen of The Skies". The A340 was called "The Four Person Hairdryer", the 727 was "the triple chrome plated stovepipe", the 737 was known as "Baby Boeing", the DC-10 had a few choice nicknames with the friendliest being "Diesel-10". We can't forget the MD-11....this one also had a few inappropriate nicknames, but was known among friendlier pilots as "The Diva". 

American Airlines pilots have given their MD-80 the nickname, "Mad Dog". Giving this aircraft the proper send-off has to include letting the MD-80 speak for itself, which American Airlines, in their ever-so-creative talent, decided to do. The American Airlines News Room presents...."A Super Send Off From The Mad Dog".
Josh Smith photo

You may not know me that well. But if you fly American Airlines a lot, chances are we've met. My name is Mad Dog. Okay, it's more of a nickname, really … short for McDonnell Douglas MD-80. My parents liked to say I was a Super 80. I couldn't agree more.

You're probably wondering why an airplane is writing a magazine article. Well, for starters, we have a lot of downtime at night. But the main reason is … I'm calling it a career. On Sept. 4, I'll retire to Roswell, New Mexico, making way for some youngsters from Airbus and Boeing. My remaining siblings — about two dozen MD-80s in all — will also shine up their polished aluminum that day for one final flight into the sunset.

Leaving the rest of the fleet behind — with its fancy satellite Wi-Fi, bigger overhead bins and in-seat power — is bittersweet, the end of a journey that began in 1983. Throughout the decade, we helped launch American's hub-and-spoke system as the airline's workhorse. More than 350 of us filled the sky for American when we merged with TWA in 2001. And though we mostly flew domestically, we connected the biggest cities in the country, making meetings and memories for millions of customers.

In doing so, we made our presence known. Many of you loved the signature growl of our engines. Others liked the peaceful calm up front — none more than our pilots. To all of them for pointing us in the right direction; to the flight attendants who walked our aisles, caring for customers; to the mechanics who kept these old dogs feeling like young pups; and to the thousands of other team members who welcomed us to the gate, loaded bags and cargo, or simply came along for the ride — thanks for the memories, from the bottom of our hydraulic hearts.

Of course, without customers, we're never born. You're the reason we kept flying and why we can park for the final time with our tails held high. So on behalf of American's 130,000 team members, our entire fleet, and particularly my fellow retirees, I tip my wing. Thank you for flying with us for the last 36 years. In the words of my favorite '80s tune, I've had the time of my life. And I owe it all to you.

McDonnell Douglas MD-80

Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Police Hammer-Out New Policy Governing Police Presence and Response in Chicago Public Schools

The August 28th, 2019 Chicago Sun-Times Story Title On CPS Approval of new rules for CPD officers in Chicago Public Schools

On August 28th, 2019, the Chicago Sun'Times reported that the Chicago Public Schools had settled on new policy regarding Chicago Police operations in Chicago Public Schools. The August 28th report did not say what the exact policy will be, and it appears that even the popular Second City Cop blog doesn't have any insights about the details of this new policy.

The only intelligence on the policy comes from the head of Chicago Public Schools head of safety and security, Jadine Chou, who said there were "improvements between 2012-13 and 2017-18, when there were 77% drops in expulsions and out-of-school suspensions of African-American boys and a 43% reduction in incidents involving African-Americans where CPD was called." Chou further said "police officers should only be involved in a school incident when a crime has been committed, or when there’s a serious or imminent threat, usually involving a weapon"

The second piece of intelligence in this new policy development also comes from Jadine Chou. Chou told the Sun-Times that 72 local school councils, all of which have Chicago Police stationed in their schools, voted to keep police stationed at the schools versus the option of getting rid of police altogether and only relying on 911 calls as needed. Chou also acknowledged to the Sun-Times that the process of getting police involved "moves too fast".

The Sun-Times piece goes on to mention talk about looking into safety and security alternatives to having police in schools, something that Chou said the Chicago Public Schools had provided information on at the meetings in the context of alternatives to "SROs" (school resource officers) as well as procedures to remove officers if / when needed.

Existing Chicago Police Department Policies on Juvenile Intervention & Arrest

The Chicago Police Department has policies in place that spell-out how their sworn Officers and Detectives must deal with juvenile matters. Three years ago, CPD Special Order S06-04-06 was created. That special order was originally dated as effective on 01 August 2016. The title of that order is "Juvenile Intervention and Support Center".That special order was updated last on 22 September 2017, and effective three days later on 25 September 2017.
The text of the order is seven pages long, and page one is structured as follows: Purpose, Policy, and General Information. The policy section reads as follows....

The first section marked "Purpose", notes that the JISC is a prototype and is under the command of the Commander of Youth Investigations within the Bureau of Detectives. There are currently 3 Detective areas, North (Area 3) also referred to as Unit 630, Central (Area 2) also referred to as Unit 620, and South (Area 1) also referred to as Unit 610.

Under the General Information section of the same special order, there is a very specific Juvenile Intervention and Support Center boundary wherein the "JISC" is situated. All of the Chicago Police Districts that make up the JISC fall largely into the Area Central Bureau of Patrol, and Area Central Detective Division, with only two of the districts falling into Area North's Bureau of Patrol and Detective Division.

The seven page special order has a General Information section that spans about two and a half pages long before moving on to Section IV (Section 4). This specific special order has a total of 12 policy sections. The most important of these is section VIII (Section 8), titled "JISC Processing Detective Responsibilities"

The Chicago Police Department policy parents of juveniles living in Chicago and whose juveniles attend Chicago Public Schools should know about is CPD Special Order S06-004, "Processung of Juveniles and Minors Under Department Control". This special order is the main policy Chicago Police follow when they have anyone under the age of 18 in their custody. This policy is double the length of the JISC policy at 15 pages long, and consists of 18 policy sections with an "addenda" at the end.

This special order rescinds the January 1st, 2017 version and two prior special orders. Within this lengthy special order, the Chicago Police Department places underlined emphasis on several key policy areas, some are an entire page or more long. The mentioned addenda at the end of this special order tells department members and the public what other juvenile policies the Chicago Police Department has within their Department Directives System.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Secret Service Releases Single Page Record Showing Brief Leadership History of USSS Chicago Field Office

Most Chicagoans only know the most common and popular tidbits of Chicago city history. Ask any Chicagoan if they know the history of the relationship between the city government and the U.S. federal government, especially in the context of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies operating their respective field offices in what became metro Chicago, and almost nobody can answer you.

Chicago is known for our financial district, which has a history of it's own, but someone had to protect all that currency from threats of the day, and no threat was ever as dangerous to Chicago's economy and its place in the national economy than counterfeiting operations.

Enter the U.S. Secret Service. Their first job assigned by United States Congress was to investigate the crime of counterfeit money operations. Founded on July 5th, 1865, the Secret Service first established their very first Chicago field office operation in 1869.

Today the Secret Service released a single-page document that shows every USSS Special Agent in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office from 1869 to the current day. That document shows that the USSS Chicago Field Office is currently operating under command of their 29th Special Agent in-Charge.

The very first Secret Service Special Agent in-Charge was called an "Operative in-Charge" and his name was Thomas Lonergan. Lonergan headed the USSS Chicago Field Office from an unspecified date in 1869 until an unspecified date in 1874, the released Secret Service document shows.

Chicago-One asked the Secret Service to provide a casefile list showing the earliest criminal cases investigated by the Secret Service Chicago Field Office, but in today's response, the Secret Service notes that no such responsive documents could be found. Given that fact, Chicago residents may never know anything about the earliest days of Secret Service criminal investigation operations within the Chicago Field Office, at least from the internal archives of the Secret Service.

Chicago-One will be checking the archives of the U.S. federal courts, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice to find out how far their records of referred Secret Service cases go back.

Two other interesting facts were brought to light by today's Secret Service document release. The early Secret Service Chicago Field Office appears to have either kept records very badly, or the records may have been lost for two different time periods: 1878 to 1885, and 1881 to 1891 for an Assistant Operative named William Hall, who is noted to have started in Chicago from the bottom ranks as an Office Boy who died from tuberculosis in 1891.

Chicago-One News will attempt a search for USSS Chicago Field Office SAIC personnel records and lists of early USSS Operatives / Special Agents.

In 1867, the Secret Service became responsible  for "detecting persons perpetrating fraud against the U.S. government" and twenty-seven years later in 1894, the Secret Service got into the most important and most highly classified agency work they continue today as their main priority.....the protection of U.S. Presidents.

At that time, the Secret Service Operative in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office was Thomas I. Porter.

The year 1894 brought the Secret Service into the part-time protection of President Cleveland. Seven years after that, in 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated and U.S. Congress gave the Secret Service full-time responsibility for the protection of all U.S. Presidents, past and present.

Operative In-Charge Thomas I. Porter remained the head of the Chicago Field Office during this era, and completed his service in 1926.

Thomas J. Callaghan was the Secret Service OIC/AIC in Chicago during the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Callaghan served in that position from 1926 to 1945 as Chicago's 7th OIC/AIC.

The agency's records show that several decades later, during the most embarassing, dramatic, and tragic intelligence failure in U.S. history that occurred on 9/11/2001, the Special Agent In-Charge at the Chicago Field Office was Arnette F. Heintze. Heintze served the USSS Chicago Field Office from 1999 to 2003 as Chicago's 23rd USSS Special Agent In-Charge.

Today's current Secret Service Special Agent In-Charge is Chicago's 29th. His name is Christopher D. Diiorio.

Today, the U.S. Secret Service Chicago Field Office is located at 525 W. Van Buren, #900
Chicago, IL, 60607

Google Street View of the current United States Secret Setvice Chicago Field Office

Google Street View of the current Secret Service Chicago Field Office

The current Secret Service Chicago Field Office location is just about or around two blocks  southwest of their 1990s location at 300 S. Riverside Plaza. Whereas the old Riverside Plaza location gave them a nice river view, the current Van Buren location is just west of the Chicago River, just down the street from the Van Buren st. bridge.

Here are a couple views of the old Secret Service Chicago Field Office at 300 s. Riverside Plaza, courtesy of Google Street View.

According to the corporate website for 300 S. Riverside Plaza, the building is "a 23-story Class A office tower containing approximately 1.1 million square feet". Secret Service records from today's release do not mention this past location. Chicago-One will attempt to secure the records for this location from the U.S. Secret Service for a future piece.