John DeRosa's
Aviation Presentations
and Information
Web Page

Introduction: I have created several presentations, and various other information details, on various glider related topics EXCEPT for anything to do with flying (flying well that is). I haven't quite figured that out as yet.


Click on the links below to download each presentation
or see each informational web page.

Soaring Aviation Electrical
Best Practices

Presented at the 2020
Soaring Society of America

I have seen many glider avionics installations that have made my hair stand on end (or fall out altogether)! This presentation is intended to provide basic instruction in some best practices on the wiring of avionics. Topics include wires types and gauges, crimp lugs, power, batteries, installation, mounting, power distribution, power management, tools, etc.


Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1 - Reference Information
  • Chapter 2 - Your Tool Box
  • Chapter 3 - Wires and Wiring
  • Chapter 4 - Making Connections
  • Chapter 5 - Other Things of Note

Click Here to Download the Latest Presentation (Part 1)


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 6 - Examples of Battery Circuitry
  • Chapter 7 - Minimizing Lost Volts
Click Here to Download the Latest Presentation (Part 2)

Reference Materials Jump to Index of Presentations

Working with Glider Air Lines

Sailplane pneumatic air lines are critical to the safe functioning of instruments. This presentation will provide you valuable information on how to work with these lines, testing and repair/replacement.

Table of Contents

  • The Basics of Air Lines
  • Types of Glider Pneumatic Sources
  • Typical Instrument Use
  • Capacity Flasks
  • Condensation Filters
  • Gust Filers
  • Tracing Air Lines Path
  • Using Colored Tubing
  • Removing/Replacing Air Lines
  • Splitters and Couplings
  • Testing Air Lines and Instruments
  • Miscellaneous Information
  • US Glider Equipment Dealers
  • Pneumatic Instrument Repair Stations (US)
Download the latest presentation here

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Transceiver Troubleshooting & Information

Trying to figure out why your transceiver (radio) isn't working as well as it should is FRUSTRATING. This presentation may just help you!

Table of Contents

  • Typical Glider Transceiver Connections
  • Troubleshooting Steps by Symptom
  • Troubleshooting Steps - Miscellaneous
  • Troubleshooting Speakers
  • Troubleshooting Interference
  • Microphones - Types and Issues
  • Antennas & Coax Cabling
    • Antenna Types
    • Coax Connector Types
    • Antennas and Coax Troubleshooting
    • Antenna System VSWR Testing
  • Schematics and Misc Information
    • Speaker/Microphone Boxes
    • Headset Jacks and Plugs
  • Transceiver Repair Stations (US)
Download the latest presentation here

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Overview of Emergency Location Devices

This presentation talks about the basics of what ELTs, PLBs, and Personal GPS Trackers, do and how they can benefit you. Comparison of the various devices by specifications and by pricing. Examples of live contest tracking and sailplane locator functionality [via the Soaring Society of America (SSA)].

Download the latest presentation here

The SSA sponsored Webinar of this presentation is available here (must be a member of the Soaring Society of America).

See also this Landout Survival Kit web page.

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Landout Survival Kits

Over the years I have created a survival kit which I carry in my glider at all times to be prepared for landouts. There is another version for when I fly out west.

See this web page for more details on the landout survival kit.

See also the "Emergency Location Devices and Bailout Survival Kit" presentation.

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Bailout Survival Kits

Over the years I have created a bailout survival kit which I carry on my parachute at all times to be prepared for a bailout.

Download the latest presentation here

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Oxygen Systems for Glider Pilots

Once you have experienced the joys of soaring to high altitudes, you will want to do it again and again. However, you must learn how to use an oxygen system in your glider and, most importantly, lean how to conserve the limited amount of oxygen that you can take aloft. This simple presentation will help you learn how to create and use an oxygen system.

Download the latest presentation here

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Cobra Trailer Ramps

To get my glider's fuselage into my "hangar" (AKA garage) for winter work I often have to get it off and out of the trailer by myself. I made some inexpensive ramps to help me with this. I thought you might find this useful.

There are two pairs of ramps needed;

  1. One is a pair of rather narrow/thin ramps used to get the fuselage dolly up/out of the deep Cobra ramp aluminum channels. Made of 1"x1-1/2" oak and about 18" long tapered at the ends cut on a bandsaw or tablesaw.
  2. The second pair of wider/thicker ramps is used to get the fuselage dolly down to the ground. The wooden portion is made of 2"x8" pine and about 28" long tapered at the ends cut on a big bandsaw or two passes on a table saw (and sanded smooth afterwords). The steel angle portion can be found on Amazon.

See the images of the ramps HERE.

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Trailer Wiring & LED Conversion

Trailer wiring can be daunting no matter what trailer you have. Converting a European trailer like a Cobra to a US connector can be a chore. Then dealing with burn out or corroded bulbs can be frustrating. This presentation may just help you!

Download the latest presentation here

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Pilot Relief Systems

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.

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Battery Testing

Each year I like to test my ship's batteries and replace those that do not have enough individual capacity to last 6 hours at a 1A load. But how can the average pilot perform a reasonable "real world" test with easily obtainable equipment?

See this web page for an explanation of the testing that I perform, and the simple load test rig that I use, along with Excel templates for gathering the data and then graphing the results. There is a manual test methodology and an automated one.

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OGN - Open Glider Network

The objective of the Open Glider Network (OGN) is to create and maintain a unified tracking platform for gliders, drones and other aircraft. Focused on tracking aircraft equipped with FLARM and OGN trackers, OGN is also open for integration of other flying objects tracking data sources. You can see beacons from FLARM PilotAware, SPOT, Garmin InReach, Skymaster, FANET (paragliders) and Spidertracks circulating through our network. The tracking data is freely available.

Download the latest presentation here

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Poor Man's Spar Alignment Tool

Inserting the main spar pins into the spar bushings during sailplane rigging can be difficult due to the close manufacturer tolerances. In other words things have to be JUST RIGHT to get the $#%^@ pins in! Included here is how to make a poor man's version of a non-eccentric spar alignment tool.

Download the latest presentation here

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Removing Painted Lettering from Gelcoat

After purchasing my new/used ASW-27B I was faced with removing the non-vinyl painted contest ID letters from the underside of the right wing. That was a learning experience as imparted by others to me and is important to pass on to whomever might be faced with the same task.

Download the latest presentation here

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Cambridge 302 Flight Recorders

The Cambridge Aero Instruments line of flight recorders are very popular with soaring pilots. Their last model produced was the acclaimed 302 which was highly regarded by glider pilots the world over.

Here is a web page with additional information on several subjects; logging error fixes,tones decoded, software and manuals, simulators, etc.

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L'Hotellier Connections
and Wedekind Sleeves

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 installation of Wederkind Sleeves on a glider with L'Hotellier fittings. See this web page for full details and pictures.

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Carbon Fiber Instrument Panel Overlay

This presentation talks about applying the following types of carbon fiber to the face of an instrument panel plus the pros and cons of each with examples of the finished products;

  • Rigid sheets of real carbon fiber panels
  • Non-rigid sheets of 3M's Di-Noc "carbon fiber"
Download this 2016 ChicagoLand Glider Council presentation for complete details.

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Glider Maintenance Tool Box

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

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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 details and information can be found by clicking on this link

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Oudie Flight Computer
with SeeYou Mobile

Here is a web page with some information on the Oudie

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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, "85KC3WK1.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, 2018 using a Cambridge flight recorder serial number 3WK". Simple? Not so much. Please see this web page for more information.

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ChicagoLand Glider Council Presentations

These presentations come from past ChicagoLand Glider Council meetings.

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

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. Old parts should not be reused and the new kit is 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.
  • 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.

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Old Presentations that Need Some Serious Updating

Soaring Flight Computers


This presentation details GPS systems for use for soaring pilots. I talk about how flight recorders are used, how they are wired together, how to upload and download flight logs and other details. I deal with what flight computers bring to the party, how they can help soaring, how they enhance moving map PDA displays, file structure, etc.

Download this 2007 SSA Convention presentation for complete details.

Basics of Dr Jacks BlipMaps and BlipSpots(PLB)


Here is a short presentation on the use of blipmaps and blipspots which was created for a ChicagoLand Glider Council meeting.

Download this 2007 presentation for complete details. Also available is Dr. Jack's presentation from the 2003 SSA convention (by kind permission).

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