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December 2014
Congratulations to member, and now private pilot Cole Dillon. Everyone remembers their private pilot check ride.

Watch December weather, it can change quickly. Particularly dangerous is clear icing from freezing rain. Lake effect clouds can go above freezing and precipitate and the rain can freeze fast to cold aircraft surfaces. Clear icing is one of the most dangerous icing conditions.

Start plugging in the engine heaters, especially if you think your flight is the last one of the day. Keep in mind the engine heaters are literally just heating pads glued to the oil pan. Before flight, be sure to rotate the prop (be sure the mags are off) a couple of times before start to spread the warm oil about the engine.

It is about this time of year we start to wonder about club dues. Nobody likes paying dues, but look what it gets you:
  • Access to multiple aircraft.

  • All aircraft are hangared.

  • Access to a heated office for flight planning or post flight refreshments.

  • All aircraft and club members are insured.

  • Access to a phone reservation system.

  • Dues include fuel access and oil.

  • Dues include annual inspections and 100 hour inspections.

  • Dues include all maintenance costs.


And, last but no least, you get this award winning newsletter. It has been said the newsletter alone is worth the dues (not really).

Please check your biennial flight review date and medical date. If either one of those is not current, it voids the insurance coverage for that member and aircraft.

Remember, any squawks, please call Tim Start of Jackson Aero (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken. Also, please make a note in the squawk column of the log sheet that you have called Tim so other pilots know what is going on.

Posted: admin
2014-12-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
November 2014
Well, November is here. Be wary of the gales of November. Cool air coming across the warm waters of Lake Michigan can kick up some lake effect showers and dare I say SNOW. Make it a good day to fly.

Keep the office heater on low and perhaps keep the engine oil in the office. Pouring ice cold oil is tedious at best. If the temperatures dip below freezing, plug the engine heaters in.

Daylight savings time is ended Saturday November 1st. With the early evenings it would be a good time to brush up your night flying. Remember, if it has been over 90 days since a night landing, you need to make three full stop night landings before taking passengers.

This is the time of the year where some of our members question the expense of belonging to a flying club. I’m sure none of us like to pay dues, but compare our dues to your cell phone bill. Or compare the dues to a tank of gasoline, garbage bill, electric and heating bills etc.

And what do your dues get you…access to multiple aircraft with just a phone call to reserve an aircraft. The maintenance, insurance, annuals, hangar fees, aircraft financing etc. are all included. Plus, you receive the award winning monthly newsletter with your monthly billing. This prestigious newsletter was voted as the most outstanding flying club newsletter on the east side of Jackson County Airport. Wow!

Remember when an aircraft problem is encountered; list the squawk on the log sheet and then write “reported” next to the entry so the next pilot knows the problem is being addressed. Call Tim Stark of Jackson Aero (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken.


Posted: admin
2014-11-01 00:00:00
Responses: 2
June 2014
Congratulations to member Bob Messner for the high flight hour tally for the month of May of 11.2 hours. There is currency.

Starting to get real busy at the airport. Please use due diligence with our reservation system. We pay for this service, so please do not hesitate to use it.

Abbreviations

Sometimes overused in aviation, especially if the recipient of a communication cannot figure out what you are talking about. Certainly one should cross check their DG (directional gyroscope) with their VSI (vertical slope indicator) while tuning in the VOR (very high frequency omni-directional range).

When a pilot gets a weather briefing, whether by phone or DUATS (direct user access terminal service) he should always be sure to check the NOTAMs (notices to airmen). One particular important NOTAM is the TFRs (temporary flight restrictions). These pop up from time to time, many without prior notice.

We have a TFR in our area coming up on June 15th. NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) will be racing at MIS (Michigan International Speedway). Yes, there is a TFR at the speedway consisting of a 5 nautical mile horizontal radius, up to 3,500 feet MSL (mean sea level) vertically, from 1 hour before the race start to 1 hour after the race ends.

One would be in rather serious trouble if one did not check the NOTAM explaining this TFR and barreled right through the airspace. We also certainly would not want to see one of our fine Cessna 172s being escorted from the area by an F-18 Super Hornet.

Remember, any squawks, please call Tim Stark of Jackson Aero (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken


Posted: admin
2014-06-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
May 2014
Fair weather is upon us and things get busy. Please pay particular attention to our reservation system and try to keep your reserved hours specific. Don’t forget to call if your reserved planned flight cannot take place.

Upcoming events that may affect the airport and surrounding airspace:

May 25th EAA Pancake Breakfast Fly In
June 5th – 7th Blues Festival
June 14th – 15th MIS Race
June 27th – 28th Michigan Aerobatics Competition
August 16th – 17th MIS Race

Please visit the JXN website for a complete listing of the upcoming events at the airport. Also, the website has many features and links that are nice. Check it out.

We have a huge bird problem in Hangar 123. The friendly avifauna are scattering styrofoam insulation all over the hangar. I am sure they are trying to build nests. Be extra careful during your pre-flight and inspect under the engine cowling and other small areas for nest building activities.

If any of our members have a solution to the bird problem, we sure would appreciate some help on this.

Remember, any squawks, please call Tim Stark of Jackson Aero (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken


Posted: admin
2014-05-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
April 2014
Congratulations to new member David Straka for the high flight hour tally of 9.7 for the month of March. March was one brutal month…hopefully we will have many good flying days ahead.

Don’t forget our web sight of www.aeroinvestorslc.com. We would like to see the forum get much more active.

Be super careful with our reservation system as better weather should cause things to get busy. There is not much more infuriating than seeing an aircraft in the hangar that the system indicated it was being used.

The Beloved “Hobbs” Meter

We are all very familiar with the Hobbs meter as just about everything in aviation goes by the Hobbs hours. Hobbs is a generalized trademark for products generically called “Engine Hour Meters”. Probably the main purpose is to keep track of hours on the aircraft engines and the maintenance involved preventing untimely landings. Every pilot records (or is supposed to record) their flight hours based on the Hobbs meter.

However, there is a negative side to the almighty Hobbs meter as it causes pilots to DO THE MATH. Pilots add all the expenses of flying for a year then divide by the number of hours flown. Then they conclude flying is very expensive.

But, you put a Hobbs meter in any motorized vehicle and you would be very surprised. Let’s use as an example a boat. You just purchased a boat that contains a Hobbs meter. You then keep track of the expenses of fuel, oil changes, insurance, winter storage fees, fall and spring maintenance, repairs, depreciation reserves, engine overhauls, etc. Then you divide that total by the number of actual hours you spent boating as indicated on the Hobbs meter. Yes, you DID THE MATH and then you would immediately sell the boat.

Conclusion…don’t DO THE MATH…just enjoy flying. It’s cheaper than boating.

Remember, any squawks, please call Tim Stark of Jackson Aero (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken


Posted: admin
2014-04-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
March 2014
Comes in like a lion! Goes out like a lamb… or something like that. Wow! This has been a long harsh winter. Now I see that the Weather Channel now name storms. Not just hurricanes, but even normal winter snow storms. I must be getting old.

Sorry for being late with this month’s statements…a little behind due to a vacation.

Sunday starts daylight savings time. When trying to figure Zulu time, the reported Zulu time is only 4 hours in advance during daylight savings time.

Since the aircraft hours will pick up in the coming months, be sure to use top etiquette with our reservation system. If you are going to cancel a flight time, make the phone call that may let another member take to the sky.

A little bit of politics…I am sure all of us have heard much information of the hold up of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In my humble opinion, anything that can increase oil supplies to the refineries that produce AvGas I am in favor of. AvGas is, by far, the most expensive part of flying. Ten years ago the average price for AvGas was $2.37 per gallon.

Remember, when you encounter an aircraft squawk, please enter the problem on the log sheet. Then immediately call Tim Stark 517-780-0343 and report the problem so Tim can take some action. Then mark on the log sheet that Tim has been notified of the problem, so a subsequent pilot will not go through the same scenario.

Please keep the engine heaters plugged in as the night temperatures still get cold and morning starts can still be difficult.

Posted: admin
2014-03-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
February 2014
Wow! If you like cold weather flying, than January was your month. January 2014 has been recorded as in the top five coldest January’s in weather recorded history. I believe the concrete floor for N6998A has heaved due to the frost and the hangar doors are pinned. Not sure what we can do in the short term. So much for global warming!

Also, the amount of snow this year is extraordinary. As I write this, we are getting an additional 4 – 6 inches of the wonderful stuff. The airport has been doing a great job in plowing the taxi streets, but there are large drifts against the hangar doors. Feel free to give the snow thrower a workout.

We did address some cold starting tips last month. Remember, when the weather gets cold, oil gets thick, metal contracts, batteries are weak, starter motors are sluggish and spark plugs can become “frosted.” Large cylinder air cooled engines can get “frosted” during starts in cold weather.

“Frosting” is a term referring to frosting of the spark plugs. This occurs when you initially crank the engine. The engine draws in very cold air and then compresses the gas/air mixture. During the intake stroke, the vacuum produced causes the temperature to drop significantly and many times frost develops and coats the entire interior of the cylinder, including the spark plugs. This frost crosses the gap in the spark plugs allowing the electricity to pass through with no spark. Hence, no ignition.

Once plugs are frosted there is nothing you can do but get a pre-heat for the engine. In other words, bring it into a warm hangar and let the engine warm up. Continual cranking of the engine does no good. It wears out the battery and is rough on the starter motor. If this happens to you, please call Tim Stark at Jackson Aero (after you are through cussing) and he will try to find a warm hangar for a warm up. So, please keep those engine heaters plugged in after every flight.

Don’t forget to check your biennial review and medical certificate currency.

Posted: admin
2014-02-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
January 2014
Happy New Year fellow club members!!! May the New Year bring us clear skies, smooth air, smooth landings and cheap AvGas. It doesn’t hurt to dream a little. Actually, there has been a huge increase in domestically produced petroleum in the United States. Hopefully, this increase in supply will eventually be reflected in the reduction of AvGas pricing.

Annual Cessna 172 cold weather starting technique review: Make sure the engine heater has been plugged in. Put the keys in your hand to make sure the magnetos are not hot. Rotate the prop to distribute the warm oil in the engine. Mixture full rich. Prime 3 to 4 times. Then, get out of the aircraft and rotate the prop 6 to 8 times. Wait 3 to 4 minutes, prime one more time and attempt start. The theory is, by priming, then rotating the engine and waiting a while; you are spreading the cold fuel around in the engine cylinders and letting the fuel vaporize. Vaporized fuel burns, liquid fuel does not. The technique usually produces an easy start.

Don’t forget we have a snow blower in the hangar. It has electric start and is self-propelled. The airport has been doing an excellent job in clearing the taxiways, but clearing the ramps is up to us. Please note, the hangar also has an air compressor for low tires and a battery charger if needed. Our goal is to not have any member cancel a flight due to a minor problem.

Freezing weather is upon us. Please remember to plug in the engine heater after your flight. The heater in the office works pretty fast. It is nice to have a warm office after a flight for chilled passengers, or while doing the post-flight activities, beverages and hangar doors. Just remember to leave the office heater on low when leaving the office.

Please check your biennial flight review date and medical date. If either one of those is not current, it voids the insurance coverage for that member and aircraft. If it has been a while since a flight, call Chuck Rule for a refresher ride at 517-563-2585.

Remember, any squawks, please call Tim Stark of Jackson Aero Inc. (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken.

Posted: admin
2014-01-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0
October 2013
Fall is here. I believe the official date was September 22st. Exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. Personally, it is my favorite time to fly. Not so hot and humid, and the thermals also settle down. The colors begin to change and a color tour by air is spectacular. Take to the skies my fellow flyers.

Congratulations to Rodney Rowe who took his first solo flight on September 28th.
I am sure everyone one of us still remembers their first solo flight in great detail.

The log sheets were collected on September 29th this period due to some vacation conflicts. The hours listed on your billing will not include flights made on the 29th and 30th of September. They will appear on next month’s billing. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Some interesting developments are occurring regarding the pilot third class medical requirements. Currently, a third class medical is good for 24 calendar months. There is a push going on for general aviation pilots to eliminate the current third class medical requirements. The proposed changes would allow a pilot to asses his own medical fitness without a physician examination.

The thinking is, every pilot goes through rigorous training to obtain his license. Then each pilot makes hundred of decisions before and during each flight, including aircraft readiness, weight and balance, passengers, fuel, weather, airports, runway lengths, etc. Surely a pilot can make a decision regarding his individual medical fitness. Certainly no pilot would jeopardize himself or passengers knowing he was not medically fit to fly.

If you get to communicate with our political friends, please let them know your feelings on this.

Remember, any squawks, please call Tim Stark of Jackson Aero Inc. (780-0343) and prompt actions will be taken.


Posted: admin
2013-10-01 00:00:00
Responses: 0