GA in Illinois and Wisconsin?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by ArnoldPalmer, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We are finally almost ready to make a move in the Spring of 2021. Looking closely at WI and IL. Would like to be no more than 2-3 hours driving distance of Madison, WI.

    In WI we are looking at Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls area to begin with. In IL, we are looking at the Rockford area - but are open to any place. What does the GA scene look like in these places? Any recommendations on a town where there is good flight training activity?

    I hope to have my CFI/CFII before we move...

    Currently, I work in higher ed, but have a background in IT. The missus is a nurse. So somethings to consider for work.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    I vote WI over IL, I’m SE. If you will work close to Madison, may need to be closer than KBUU.
     
  3. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    GA scene is good in both. I would HIGHLY recommend WI over IL. Our property taxes in IL are inconceivable to most. They are trying to raise our state income taxes for the 3rd or 4th time in the past 15 years. This state is stupid broke and spends like no other. Chicago drives the rest of the state.

    Good luck whatever you decide. Maybe we’ll see you around when you get to the area.

    If you must live in the RFD area, check out the fly-in neighborhood of Poplar Grove.
     
  4. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No idea why anyone would move to Illinois. But I’d second popular grove if you must live in this state.
     
  5. crash7

    crash7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As someone who just fled Illanoy... Run. Far away.


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  6. Racerx

    Racerx Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My home valued at 390k has a 12k property tax bill attached to it. Lake county, IL for reference.
     
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  7. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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  8. crash7

    crash7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ugh.
    My Indiana 200k home has a $1600 property bill. Moved out of a 140k duplex in IL with a 3600 bill.

    Run.


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  9. Racerx

    Racerx Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Leaving for New Mexico in a few minutes, if only for 2 weeks. Unfortunately my business is one that isn't really movable. The property taxes on that...well I don't want to get all fired up before I go.
     
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  10. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Move to Peoria and be my CFII. Unfortunately, Peoria meets none of your requirements. But it has me....so its got that going for it.
     
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  11. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    P.S. Hangar rent here is really cheap compared to what a lot of people on this board pay.
     
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  12. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    East Peoria is on my list of places to review and check out. :) Is crime really bad in that part of the state?
     
  13. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Central/South Peoria is where the problems are. We live on the north side and it is nice. If you want to live on the east side of the river, I would check out Washington, Germantown Hills, Metamora or Morton. The problem with the east side of the river is no airports. Your closest airport on that side of the river would be Pekin and I don't think anyone is training out of Pekin. I am at Mt Hawley and there is some training there. Allmond Aviation is the flight school, although the Allmonds no longer run it. There is a club at PIA that would have instructors in it too. Most of the GA in Peoria is out of 3MY.
     
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  14. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you still looking for jobs? What are your requirements and desires for a place to live, and for an airport to be based at? Do you own an airplane?

    Fill in those blanks, and there are plenty of us who can help you out better. I'd definitely encourage you to be on the Wisconsin side of the state line, though, and it sounds like that sentiment is pretty much unanimous so far from those of us living on both sides of the line!
     
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  15. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Got quoted $80/month at MTO!
     
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  16. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    The Wisconsin side of the line is overrun with Packers fans. Beware.
     
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  17. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Are they half empty or something? We end up subsidizing the hangar rent with higher fuel but that's fine. It's 8 minutes to my hangar for me.
     
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    He had two empty out of 20 or so. Manual doors. A pa-32 stabilator may or may not fit. He thought he could move a non- flying plane out of an end unit for me for $90 if I needed more room for the tail.

    2 runways, restaurant, mechanic, ILS. Gas isn't cheap, but it's $1.20 less than CMI. What more could a guy want? I guess maybe an electric door opener...
     
  19. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes. Still looking for jobs and looking hard. :)

    No plane at the moment. Recently sold share in Piper Warrior that I owned. Looking to instruct as a part time gig for now.

    Prefer smaller towns with outdoorsy things to do. No kids, so schools and quality of education does not matter to us. Low crime would be nice. Fine being on either side of the state line. IA is fine too ;)

    For airports, prefer something where there is an active pilot community and training. :)
     
  20. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Lived in Barrington, IL between 1999 and 2014. Over $12K per year in property taxes. One of the happiest days of my life was in 2014. You get the picture.

    Now it's possible that Winnebago county is an island of sanity in IL. But you'll still have to live with the decisions forced down your throat from the machine.

    Never lived in WI, but I'd pick it over IL in a heartbeat.
     
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  21. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Way more lakes in Wisconsin...
     
  22. Llk

    Llk Pre-Flight

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    Naperville, Ill - nápele aero estates.
    Downtown - state anda division - no more fun or affluent community for anyone to enjoy.

    And yet, i would Tell you to flee and spend your tax money elsewhere. I did. I have zero regrets. Love the people - hate the government they continue to elect.


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  23. ytodd

    ytodd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would rather live anywhere else than here in Illinois (or California and New York).
     
  24. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    IL or WI ..?? Are you nuts??? That’s just too cold to even think about. I need to put on my thermals just reading this thread.
     
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  25. capg2000

    capg2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    .....? Go Pack Go!
    That is from Ft Lauderdale, FL
     
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  26. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After 11 years in Northern MN, I am ready for something a bit milder as far as winters go.

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
     
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  27. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    All of North Carolina sucks. Don’t move there.
     
  28. painless

    painless Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Life is good on this side of the cheese curtain.
     
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  29. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wasn't planning on it, but thanks.

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  30. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    Most of my career has been on the investment side of the pension business. Illinois state pension fund is deeply in the red: meaning that there is no possible way that the existing funds plus returns on investments can meet the contractual demands (pension payments) of the pension fund. On this measure, Illinois is among the most underfunded public pensions in the nation. How are they going to fix this problem? The only “big pocket” left is to raise taxes. A lot!

    Wisconsin gets my vote in this decision. Illinois is not even a close second.

    -Skip
     
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  31. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I can't give advice on IL.

    A good friend lived in Menomonie which is just west of the area you listed. Cool little town. I'm guessing teaching / IT jobs at Stout would be worth looking into. Anyhow, I always liked flying over there to visit.Eau Claire is a nice sleepy Delta with a great restaurant so I'd bet you'd find CFI gigs there.

    Your comment about leaving for milder winters doesn't seem to add up regarding WI. Its still gonna be cold and maybe even more snow. But the scenery and the flying folk are awesome. Being closer to Lake Michigan really opens up some cool new flying destinations as well.
     
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  32. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks! Menomonie is on our list too.

    And the comments about winter .. was facetious. Our plan was to move to FL, but that changed with the family stuff coming up.

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  33. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Cleared for Takeoff

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    IA ain't bad. Taxes fairly reasonable. NE Iowa is nice, a bit more expensive. Stay away from DesMoines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and their counties. And you'll be fine. Less regulation out from the city. Lots of airports surrounding.
     
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  34. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I absolutely love northern IL and the aviation community there outside Chicago area. There is even an aircraft Spruce in the area to buy parts on Saturday!

    The future looks dim for higher taxes and lower services due to the unfunded pension and social program liabilities. Like California, the priority of effective administration of government is merely a vehicle for the dream of developing some utopian society.
     
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  35. AlleyCat67

    AlleyCat67 Pre-Flight

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    California has been running a budget surplus for the last several years.
     
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  36. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    No one asked about California. If we can't keep the topic from spinning into politics, the thread will be locked.
     
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  37. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank you. I am more interested in the GA scene in WI and IL. What part of the state has a lot of activity, what to avoid?

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  38. painless

    painless Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One thing nice about the GA environment in WI is the Wisconsin Hamburger socials that are held In several regions of the state. Google Wisconsin Hamburger Social for more info.
     
  39. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cool! Now I'm starting to have ideas. :)

    For reference, I grew up in Middleton (west side of Madison) and now I live in the village of Richfield - Population 11,300 spread over nearly 36 square miles (the township incorporated as a village in 2007 to prevent encroachment by cities) for a population density of 314.7 people per square mile. Lots of great parks in the immediate area, Ice Age Trail very close to me, and less than 15 minutes from I-41 and I-94 when I need to get somewhere.

    Wisconsin as a whole is great for outdoorsy things. We generally think about going "up north" for such things but the entire state is pretty outdoorsy, the "up north" thing is to escape the FIBs (that's, uh, "Friendly Illinois Brethren" :rofl:) that invade our state on the weekends because they lack the outdoor opportunities that we have.

    For both jobs and flight instruction, you're probably going to have the best luck in the Madison or Milwaukee areas. Green Bay and really the whole Fox Valley (basically from Fond du Lac up the west side of Lake Winnebago through Appleton and Green Bay) are fairly populated, but more focused on manufacturing, especially paper.

    In the Madison area: Job-wise you have both the main University of Wisconsin-Madison campus (44,000 students) and plenty of IT opportunities around that, the state government, and local companies. UW Health, Meriter, and plenty of opportunities in health care as well. Aviation-wise, you have good opportunities for teaching at KMSN (Wisconsin Aviation), Morey Airplane Company or Capital Flight (C29) as well as a great airpark to live on at 6P3 in Waunakee, which is also a really nice little community that avoids most of the city-ish influences of Madison because it's opposite Lake Mendota from downtown. Madison is a fun airport to fly from due to the wide variety of traffic: Lots of corporate and small GA, flight training, airlines, military (F-16s and choppers based here, but lots of transient military traffic as well).

    In the Milwaukee area, there's lots more population but it's still a manageable size city - Even though I live in a very low population density area, I can get to downtown Milwaukee in about 30 minutes - 45 if there's a lot of traffic. Higher ed wise, you've got the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the second-largest of the 13 UW campuses with around 27,000 students as well as Marquette Univeristy and several smaller private colleges. Tons of IT and health care opportunities as well.

    Aviation-wise, there are several airports in the Milwaukee area but Waukesha KUES (where I'm based) is the third-busiest airport in the state after Milwaukee KMKE and Madison. It's only a class D but has more traffic than Green Bay, our third class C in the state. LOTS of GA activity, both corporate and small piston, and a pretty large and active warbird community with the Wisconsin Wing of the Commemorative Air Force plus quite a few other based warbirds including jets. The main flight training operator here is Spring City Aviation, though the Stein's FBO does training and rentals as well. Spring City also operates out of KMWC and KBUU. Waukesha is only about an hour from Madison, if that.

    Happy to answer any additional questions you have about these or other areas. I'm a lifelong "Cheesehead" and there's a lot to love about this state, both outside of aviation and in, lots of airports and of course the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration!

    And they're not all next to freeway overpasses like they are in IL. :rofl:

    BTW, one more vote against Rockford: I specifically remember that when the Money Magazine survey ranked Madison as the best place to live in America, Rockford was #500. Dead. Last. Not a great place to be.
     
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  40. PaulMKE

    PaulMKE Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As an IL native, and escapee to WI for almost 20 years, there’s no real debate here. Quality of life, cost of living, opportunities for recreation, cleanliness, and simply nice people- Wisconsin has all far better than IL.

    The GA scene is good. Suggest KUES and KHXF for starters. See Steve Krog’s article in the latest Sport Aviation magazine. I decided to drop in KHXF last weekend- counted 7 small GA ac on the ramp just chatting and 4 in the pattern... and there was no event planned. We have an active CAF Wing at KUES.

    Milwaukee north shore, Lone Rock, Mineral Point, Oconomowoc are some suggestions.

    Plus there’s a shorter flying/driving distance to Up North and all it has to offer.
     
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