Patrick Smith

Pilot and author of's ask the pilot

Patrick Smith appears in the following:

What Happens When Suburban Police Departments Don't Have Enough Money?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Small police departments struggling with high crime and low budgets tend to pay fast-food wages, may employ officers with troubled pasts and can miss out on opportunities to learn from mistakes.


In Chicago, More Often Than Any U.S. City, Shooters are Teens

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In Chicago, more than anywhere else in the country, shooters are more likely to be young people. WBEZ's Patrick Smith talks with two young men from Chicago about what drew them into gangs.


Looking For Analog: Old Button-Mashing Arcades Come Back For A New Generation

Monday, September 18, 2017

"I know I didn't grow up with arcades, but ... I enjoy talking with my dad about it and it's just something we bonded over," says one 17-year-old player.


Defendants Are Left Without Phones After Chicago Courthouse Removes Lockers

Friday, April 08, 2016

The removal of lockers from one of the largest criminal courthouses in the country is delaying trials and bringing some to tears. Officials say the worst is yet to come. Unlike most courthouses in the country, cell phones are banned altogether from Chicago's criminal courthouse. For years, a set of pay-lockers were available, but over the weekend, Cook County ripped out those lockers. Their removal leaves thousands of defendants without their phones.


Ask The Pilot: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's been a week since Flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing. Patrick Smith, an airline pilot who blogs at, and author of  Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel (Sourcebooks), talks about what is known and unknown about the flight and the search, and takes your calls and questions.

Comments [3]

Mexican Drug Lord's Reach Stretches To Chicago Streets

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chicago authorities say drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman was one of the major villains in the city's heroin epidemic, and a debate is brewing about how his arrest will affect the drug trade in the city.


From Mexico To Midwest, A Visit To El Chapo's Chicago

Monday, February 24, 2014

Recently arrested Mexican crime lord "El Chapo" Guzman left one of his deadliest marks on Chicago. As Patrick Smith of WBEZ reports, the city is a major hub for his drug distribution network.


Vanished Venues: The (Old) Metropolitan Opera House

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our series on great concert halls and nightclubs from New York music history concludes with a look at the old Metropolitan Opera House, which stood at West 39th Street and Broadway until 1967. Our guests include music writer Patrick J. Smith and Alfred Hubay, who worked at the Metropolitan Opera for 62 years.

Comments [16]

Ask the Pilot

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pilot and “Ask the Pilot” columnist Patrick Smith talks about flying -- what causes turbulence, which airports are well-designed, the TSA and airport security. Plus: Your qu...

Comments [30]

Cockpit Confidential: Investigating the Northwest Airlines Pilots

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New information released Monday said that the distracted pilots of Northwest Airlines Flight 188, who overshot their landing strip in Minneapolis by 150 miles before turning around an...

Comments [1]

Dear Pilot: Should I be afraid of bird strikes?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yesterday’s dramatic crash landing of a U.S. Airways jetliner into New York’s Hudson River, and the equally dramatic rescue, had many people glued to their television screens. Fortuna...


Airport Congestion

Friday, September 28, 2007

Patrick Smith, airline pilot and’s air travel columnist, and author Ask a Pilot: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel (Riverhead Books 2004) and Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for The Record of Bergen County, NJ, discuss the Bush administration's plan to ease airport congestion.

Comments [11]

Anything but the Car: Planes

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Patrick Smith, airline pilot and’s air travel columnist, discusses air travel in the New York region, congestion at the city's airports, and the possibility of seaplanes on the East River.