Patrick Smith

Pilot and author of's ask the pilot

Patrick Smith appears in the following:

COVID-19 Restrictions Hamper Efforts To Tame Chicago Gang Shootings

Thursday, April 30, 2020

While overall crime is down, some cities like Chicago are seeing an uptick in shootings. Anti-violence workers who intervene in gang conflicts are being hindered by the virus and trying to adapt


Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Announces Retirement

Friday, November 08, 2019

Chicago's police department is looking for a new leader after Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced he's leaving. He oversaw a department heavily criticized for tactics used in some communities.


Nearly 60 People Shot, 7 Killed In Violent Weekend In Chicago

Monday, August 05, 2019

Chicago saw a high number of shootings this weekend, with seven people killed and dozens more injured by gunfire.


Federal Charges Escalate Sex Abuse Case Against Singer R. Kelly

Friday, July 12, 2019

Federal agents have arrested singer R Kelly on a 13-count indictment, including possessing child pornography. Kelly was already under indictment in Illinois on state charges.


'We Cannot Be Driven By Emotions': Top Chicago Prosecutor Defends Smollett Decision

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In an interview with WBEZ, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx explains why her office suddenly dropped charges against the actor.


5 Chicago Police Officers Died By Suicide Since July. Is The Department Doing Enough?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Some officials and mental health experts say the suicides are a sign of deeper problems with the mental health and well-being of Chicago police officers.


Gunman Kills 5 In Aurora, Ill.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A mass shooting in Aurora, Ill., has left six people, including the gunman, dead.


Chicago Cops Found Not Guilty Of Cover-Up In Laquan McDonald Shooting Case

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The officers were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct for allegedly exaggerating the threat the 17-year-old posed to officers.


Chicago Trial To Begin: What Happened When Police Killed Laquan McDonald?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Three current and former Chicago police officers go on trial Tuesday, charged with conspiring to cover up what really happened the night police killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.


Chicago Police Officer Charged With Murder Takes The Stand

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Officer Jason Van Dyke took the stand in his own defense Tuesday. The white officer is on trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager. McDonald was shot 16 times.


News Brief: Kavanaugh Hearing Still Set For Monday, Public Health Effects Of Hurricane

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee is moving forward with a hearing Monday on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Also, a look at public health after the hurricane.


Update On Trial In Killing Of Laquan McDonald

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A white police officer in Chicago is on trail for murder — after he shot and killed Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old black teen, in 2014.


Jury Selection Continues In Chicago For Laquan McDonald Murder Trial

Monday, September 10, 2018

Prosecutors are expected to allege that the Chicago Police Department worked together to hide the truth of the shooting.


The Fact & Fiction of Airline Travel

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pilot Patrick Smith discusses his book which tells you everything you need to know about airline travel.

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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.

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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.