Sunlight radiates off the pair of 30-foot, brilliant-yellow wings that frame A & M Aviation’s 1942 WACO UPF-7 biplane as it rests on the tarmac at Clow International Airport. A pilot starts the vintage bird's 220 hp Continental engine, and the propellers begin to spin, quickly disappearing into a heart-quickening blur as the plane lurches forward. One of fewer than 80 still in existence, the plane was used as a trainer for US soldiers before they shipped off to fight overseas. Today, after a full restoration in 2003 that returned it to its youthful glory, civilian passengers are transported to those proud days as they sit side-by-side in the biplane’s spacious open-air cockpit behind a windscreen that protects their faces from flying bugs and raspberries from passing beagles. Thanks to the careful executions of the pilot in front of them, they watch the ground slowly pull away as the biplane carries them anywhere within a 25-mile radius of the airport, whether that be a low buzz over the downtown lakeshore or a leisurely cruise over nearby farms, forests, and Midwestern expanses.
Mike Semerau and the instructors at Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons have a trick up their sleeve. In addition to in-person tutelage, they provide professional pre-recorded take-home videos of proper drumming techniques for students to refer to while practicing. This kind of constant visualization and repetitive watching is what the instructors claim makes their students so successful as they drill new techniques such as double bass, ostinatos, and stick control. During lessons, teachers also cover subjects such as soloing, learning a student’s favorite song, creating original beats and fills, and teaching yourself. Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons has a play-along machine stacked with more than 1,000 songs, all of which have no drum track so that students can provide their own percussion and experience the sensation of playing and keeping time with other instruments.
Rick Todd, the founder of Chicago Premier Flight Training, leads a squad of six FAA-certified flight instructors, who together have accumulated more than 20,000 hours of flight time. From their home base at Lewis University Airport, the team imparts students with every level of flight instruction, from learning the basic instruments and safety procedures to executing advanced in-air maneuvers to dodge lost balloons. Practical lessons take place in one of two 1979 Cessna aircrafts—each equipped with modern avionics such as GPS and satellite weather. Additionally, students can earn pilot hours from the safety of solid ground within the Redbird TD2 simulator, which recreates realistic flying conditions without real-life annoyances such as rookie copilots pointing out all the clouds shaped like potatoes.
Matt Zahora earned his first airline pilot's seat at the tender young age of 19, his lifetime of practice flying giving him the skill to navigate an aircraft even before he earned his degree in Aviation Management. With over 5,000 hours of flight experience in dozens of types of aircrafts under his belt, he decided it was time to open his own business, Chicagoland Aviation. Drawing on his wealth of knowledge, he helps groundlings become pilots and pilots to purchase their first aircraft.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Our staff is exceptionally trained!!!
And our venue covers all types of music throughout the month.
There is something for everyone!!!
What can a student expect in one of your classes?
You will leave with the knowledge of making superb cocktails as well as have the confidence to show off your new talent.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Some of our most favorite moments growing up were around the table with Family, Food and drinks!!!!
What do you love most about your job?
Over the years you learn so much about your customers, that you consider them family!!!
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