MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAW) — Saturday August 19th is celebrated as National Aviation Day this year, but Sunrise 7 previewed the day a little early with a tour of the Central Wisconsin Airport, and a behind the scenes look at the aviation career.
“Our airfield is 1,800 acres, and we are FAA certified as an airport,” explained Jim Olson the CWA Ops Director.
While giving Sunrise 7’s Stacia Kulakowski a tour of the airfield, Olson ensured that they follow airfield safety each and every day by having 24/7 firefighting coverage, inspecting the airfield continuously, and having the best snow removal in the state.
In the airfield, about 21 employees work to keep planes safe on and off the runways, but in the planes, the pilots have a whole different routine.
“All aircraft have a checklist for the pilot to follow before starting the aircraft, as well as during critical phases of flight like takeoff and landing,” said pilot Dan DeChambeau.
DeChambeau works to ensure that he is using the specific handbook for each airplane that he is on. He said that the first step he takes is spending time in the cockpit to make sure that the aircraft is airworthy and safe to fly.
“Safety is always number one in aviation, so after I make sure the plane is safe, I follow the checklist to start up the engine,” explained DeChambeau.
From there DeChambeau said that he figures out the weather conditions, and listens to instructions on where to go before moving to the runway for a safe takeoff.
All of those steps wouldn’t be possible without the help of those up in the air traffic control tower, however.
“The Air traffic control tower is where all the coordination happens between the pilots and the air traffic controllers,” said CWA Director Brian Grefe.
Grefe explained that those working in the tower are responsible for knowing what’s five miles around the airport, giving weather information to pilots, and letting the pilots know when they’re clear for departure.