John DeRosa's
Aviation Web Page

2016 Region 7 Contest in Albert Lea (MN)

NEW GLIDER ~ July 3, 2016 ~ ASW-27B

Taken from the top of Mount Horeb at the 2013 OLC Event in Nephi (UT)

HOME JAMES! Home Page for derosaweb Click Here!

DeRosa's aviation subject sub-web pages are below

Soaring Related Web Links

DeRosa's Aviation Subject Sub-Web Pages are Below
(Click the blue links below for details)

Miscellaneous interesting files can be found here
Aviation Related Presentations
I have created several presentations on soaring and aviation related topics such as flight computers, recorders, ELTs and PLBs, avionics wiring, trailers, blipmaps and more. See this web page for more details.

Pilot Relief Systems

Published in Soaring magazine, April 2010, page 27

I have brought together information on my experiences with pilot relief ("pee") systems for glider and soaring pilots along with information from other resources. See this web page for more details.

Testing Batteries - Manual and Automated

October 2019

Published in Soaring magazine, February 2012, Page 27

Each year I like to test my ship's batteries and replace those that do not have enough individual capacity to last 3 hours at a 1A load. But how can the average pilot perform a reasonable "real world" test with easily obtainable equipment?

See the Excel spreadsheets linked below and this Soaring magazine article for an explanation of the testing that I perform and the simple test rig that I use, along with Excel templates for gathering the data and then graphing the results.

There are three versions of the spreadsheet;

  1. Original - This version of the spreadsheet is the original mentioned in the article with a few minor updates. Time must be entered in a "hh:mm" (24 hour) time format.
  2. Beta - This version of the spreadsheet has separate columns in Testing Results & Graph tab for hours and minutes. I think this is easier/faster to use for data entry than having to enter "hh:mm" - that colon really slowed me down. Now I can tab between columns (hours, minutes, voltage) and hit a return between rows. Tell me which you prefer!
  3. Pre-Filled In - This version of the spreadsheet already has at set of times already filled in for you The first 5 minutes are by 1 minute increments starting at 00:00, then 10 minute increments. This requires the use of a stopwatch, rather than just a clock, to take voltage readings are set intervals. It is handy to use an "interval" timer smartphone app* set for 10 mins to tell you when to take the next voltage reading.
*Smartphone App - Get yourself a Smartphone App that does interval countdown timing with an alarm. Those typically used for exercising will have a repeat function. These apps provide a few countdown beeps leading up to the end of each period, and then a different single beep at the exact time to take the next voltage reading, and then automatically starts the countdown again. Slick!

Testing Automated!!
2 Line LCD Display     240x320 LCD Display

(Click on Images to Enlarge)

Manually taking hours of battery test readings can be BORING! I have now automated testing using an inexpensive Arduino Duemilanove single board computer coupled with an LCD display (shield) and a few other components. There are two versions of the display. Initially I used a simple 2 line by 16 character LCD B/W display. Now I am using a 240x320 pixel LCD touch sensitive color display which allows more room for information, a simple graph, and other niceties. The complete required Arduino hardware might cost you $20-$30 on eBay.

The Arduino free editing software (required) is available here. After you open my Arduino code packages you will find full instructions in the comments near the top.

Pictures and my latest Arduino software package can be found here. An Excel spreadsheet to parse your automated data, and to graph the results, is also available in the same folder.

Soaring Landout Survival Kit

Published in Soaring magazine, May 2010, page 21

Over the years I have created a survival kit which I carry in my glider at all times to be prepared for landouts. See this web page for more details.

IGC File Name Decoding

Maybe you have wondered about the file names of the IGC log files that are generated by your flight recorder. For example, "15KC3WK1.IGC". It looks like a strange random combination of letters and numbers, but each character does have a meaning. In the example above it means, "1st Flight on May 20th, 2011 using a Cambridge flight recorder serial number 3WK". Simple? Not so much.

Please see this web page for more information.

Oudie Flight Computer
with SeeYou Mobile

Here is a web page with some information on the Oudie

Cambridge Flight Recorders

The Cambridge Aero Instruments line of flight recorders are very popular with soaring pilots. Here is a web page with some additional information on the following subjects;
  • Model 302 Flight Logging Errors
  • Model 302 Tones Decoded
  • Software and manuals
  • Simulators
Please see this web page for more information.

O'Hare Class B Airspace Expansion

In mid-2008 the FAA started the process of expanding the O'Hare Class B airspace. This change was implemented on October 21, 2010. This has directly impact several soaring sites in the Chicago area, notably Sky Soaring near Hampshire, IL. More information can be found by clicking on this link

Glider Maintenance Tool Box

A list of many things that you will need in a maintenance kit for your glider and during your road trips. Click here.

My Aviation Image Gallery

A repository of aviation images. Gliders, humor, powered airplanes, etc, etc. Click here.

My DG-101G ELAN Sailplane Page

SOLD 2016! Various pictures of my DG-101G ELAN (and a great home built trailer). What a fun, safe, ship to fly!

Soaring Videos
Here are a few interesting soaring movies for your viewing pleasure. See this web page for more details.

Standalone Flight Recorders
I have built two different types of standalone flight recorders for club use in mutiple ships. Each has it's pros and cons. See this web page for more details.

NOTE: - While the club still owns and uses the EW Microrecorder, the Nano and other very small recorders definately look like interesting future choices.

Car Laptop Desk
Great for retrieves! I built a simple laptop desk for the passenger's seat. It incorporates lighting, a 12Vdc power strip and a 110Vac inverter. I use it with a Delorme GPS system for retrieves. See this web page for more details and pictures.

L'Hotellier Fittings
Wedekind Safety Sleeve Installation


Everything that you wanted to know about L'Hotellier fittings and the several ways to comply with the FAA AD about them. Also, a step-by-step guide to the stallation of Wederkind Sleeves on a glider with L'Hotellier fittings. See this web page for more details and pictures.

Blanik L-13/L-23/L-33 Strut Information and Repair

(Click Image to Enlarge)

The repair/rebuild of the L-13/L-23/L-33 strut landing gear strut is an important skill if your strut has collapsed and is no longer holding gas (typically nitrogen). A repair/rebuild kit is required for the repair/rebuild. Old parts should not be reused and are not commonly available. To my knowledge kits are only available from Blanik (approximate cost US$500). Note that a replacement new strut is much more expensive. Also note that L-13's have been effectively grounded (at least in the US) and used struts from an L-13 can be reused in L-23's and L-33's.

Several items are included here for downloading;

  • Scans from the L-23 service manual on the repair/rebuild/refill of the strut.
  • Pictures of an actual repair/rebuild of a Blanik L-33 strut. This should be the same for an L-13 or L-33. Future: Images of custom tools* built to facilitate repair/rebuild.
  • Scans from the instructions included with the 2015 purchase of the repair/rebuild kit for the Blanik L-13/L-23/L-33 strut. This also includes how to build custom tools* to facilitate repair/rebuild.
  • Pictures and information on refilling the Blanik L-13/L-23/L-33 strut with nitrogen.
* The tools are not strictly necessary but are very useful.