CHO Airport Blog

What’s in a Name?

Now that the American Airlines service from Charlottesville, VA to Chicago, Illinois is in full swing, I felt it was time to get to know our new major connection a little better. The first place to start is with the name. Now that I know why, I couldn’t think of a better name for the Midwest hub than Chicago O’Hare.

Lt. Commander Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare was a navy pilot in the Pacific when he became the first ACE in WWII.  His actions on February 20, 1942 are those for comic book heroes.  Lt. O'Hare was the only U.S. Navy fighter pilot available in the air when enemy bombers were attacking his aircraft carrier the Lexington. Facing 9 twin-engine bombers alone, O’Hare shot down five of them and damaged a sixth before other U.S. fighters arrived.  No enemy bombs made it to the Lexington.  The Medal of Honor citation calls it " of the most daring, if not the most daring, single action in the history of combat aviation..."  O'Hare was killed in 1943 during the battle for the Gilbert Islands in the South Pacific. He had volunteered to lead a night interception mission against enemy aircraft attacking his task group. His plane was shot down and he was lost at sea during the battle. And so in 1949 the Chicago City Council renamed Orchard Field as Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, to honor their hometown hero. His name is listed on the "Wall of the Missing" at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii.

Next time you are at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, check out the Butch O’Hare WWII Fighter Airplane Exhibit located in Terminal 2.  

Do you know of any other airport names with cool origins?


All Accounted For: Team CHO Airport Survives the Tough Mudder

Team CHO Airport at the Tough Mudder race

On October 22, 2011 Team CHO Airport joined thousands of challengers looking to earn an orange headband at the sold out Tough Mudder in Wintergreen, VA. Touted as “probably the toughest event on the planet, the 10 mile obstacle course, designed by British Special Forces, tested all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.” With an average completion rate of 78%, the goal is to simply finish.  Overcoming obstacles like death march, boa constrictor and electroshock therapy to name a few, makes most mud runs seem like a walk in the park. According to the Tough Mudder site, this race has ten times more participants than any other mud run and half a million participants globally. To date, Tough Mudder has raised over two million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Team CHO Airport consisted of Public Safety Chief Bryan Jones, Public Safety Corporal Travis Ratcliff, Maintenance Tech Jack Cross and Director of Air Service and Marketing Jason Burch. All survived and after a few days of recovery, most will be back training for next year’s event!
Click here to see pics. Check out more Tough Mudder action here.

Team CHO gives a day for the United Way

CHO Volunteers Building a deck for United Way Day of Caring

On September 28, 2011 Team CHO headed out early to take on a 2011 United Way Day of Caring Project. Arriving at the Greene County Childcare Center armed with all the tools and manpower to tackle the job, the group of volunteers spent the day tearing up an old wore out deck and replacing it with all new lumber. After a day of hard work - the new deck looked really good! The kids now have a great place to ride their trikes!  Everyone at the center was very thankful that the CHO team had taken on their project and had such an awesome crew!

CHO Volunteers Continue Building a Deck for United Way Day of Caring

Kids Enjoying the Deck  that CHO Helped Build for United Way Day of Caring

See the rest of the photos on our Flickr page here!

CHO’s Runway is Groovy

If you are flying to or from CHO today there is a good chance you will be flying in the rain. What you may not notice is that the 6000 foot runway you’re using has grooves.

Grooves on the runway at CHO airportThe purpose of grooving is to help shed water from the runway to eliminate hydroplaning. The grooves also present a rougher surface to aircraft tires, increasing traction. This results in shorter braking distance of aircraft on wet pavement. According to the FAA and from our own observations, grooved surfaces drastically reduce all types of skids on runways during inclement weather such as rain or snow. Next time you fly out of CHO, take a look at the runway. You won’t see anything as groovy on the road.

Stay tuned to learn how CHO handles snow!

Aircraft on the runway at CHO in the rain


STATION 9: Airport Firefighters

Firetrucks driving at CHO

Station 9 is owned and operated by the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport Authority and includes a full complement of personnel, equipment and apparatus designed to provide state-of-the-art fire rescue services to the passengers, employees and visitors of the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO). Station 9 activities include mitigation of and response to structural and aircraft fires, as well as response to medical emergencies, fuel spills and other airport related emergencies at and immediately adjacent to the airport.

Spraying down a planeThe firefighters at CHO conduct training monthly and are held to federal guidelines regarding Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting. Like many small commercial airports, CHO’s Station 9 crew has other responsibilities. Currently, the airport maintenance employees and public safety officers are trained as firefighters, first responders and EMT’s.

The rescue equipment used at CHO is designed for emergencies on an airfield and is built for speed, water-carrying capacity, off-road performance and fast agent discharge rates.  Unlike traditional fire trucks, airport rescue vehicles are also designed to pump water and move at the same time. Each of CHO’s 3 trucks can shoot foam, water or a dry chemical depending on the type of hazard. The goal is to put out 80 percent of a fire before a member of station 9 ever steps foot on the ground.

Click Here to See Our Station 9: Airport Firefighters Photo Set on Flickr