Minnesota Flight Club – Cloud7 News


New Private Certificate for Tom Zurales! (pictured above)

Congratulations to Tom Zurales, son of his instructor and C7 member Jim Zurales, on passing his checkride at age 17 for his Private Pilot license on Feb 16.  To make it even more productive, he finished all his requirements for Eagle scout that same week after 12 years in scouting.    Tom is a family member of Cloud 7 and is also a Cadet Chief Master Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol with Fort Snelling Squadron at MSP.  He looks forward to working on advanced ratings and certificates as he heads off to college at the University of Minnesota in Duluth in the Fall.

Quarterly Minimums

Quarterly minimums are approaching with the end of March.  When those warm days come back, please get out and fly. Three hours are needed or you will be billed three hours at the C-172 rate.

Annual Check Rides

Annual Check rides are due for those that have not completed a rating or a checkout in the last 12 months.  Contact your favorite instructor to set up a flight.  The list is available in the files section of the website and can be accessed by clicking this link.  Sign-in is “ C7 “ and password is the four number code to the hangars

Calendar and Events

March 15 2014, 11:00 to 14:00, Cloquet MN EAA Chapter 1221 Birthday Party Fly-In / Drive-In, 1221.eaachapter.org/ , Cloquet Carlton County Airport,(KCOQ), Grilled up Burgers, Dogs and Brats,  other good stuff prepared by our Members. And of course there will be Birthday Cake! Suggested Donation $8.00. No Rain Date., Mike Hongisto, 218-310-4301,

March 21 2014, 9:00 to , Anoka MN Great MN Aviation Gathering , www.mnpilots.org/, Anoka County Airport,(KANE), The Gathering will be held at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (ANE). It will feature a variety of vendors from the aviation industry. On site will be many Hangar Flying Forums that will cover a broad range of topics, including owner-assisted maintenance, seaplane operations, ski plane operations, survival medicine, single pilot IFR, Minnesota aviation history, hot air balloon operations, winter operations, engine management, how to promote your local airport, and many others., , 612-231-2153, info@mnpilots.org

Aircraft Utilization – Dale Kunz

membership 2014
membership 2014 feb


feb2014 utilization

Instructor Input

Video on how to use the JPI- Joel Lehrke

Ever wonder what the Step and LF buttons on the JPI Engine Monitor do?  Would you like to watch a video on how to use the JPI to lean our engines?

Check out this YouTube Video     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpjYlimlgig

Power to the Portables – Bob Barker

As we use more portable devices in the cockpit, we also have a need to keep them charged in flight.  The obvious way to do this is to power/charge them with a voltage converter plugged into the aircraft cigar lighter which offers one or more USB ports for our devices.  Yes, Cessna is clear on this – it’s a cigar lighter, not a cigarette lighter Far more classy that way, I guess.

There are a few things to know about powering devices from the aircraft cigar lighters – and some differences between doing this in a plane vs. a car.  I wanted to share some info with other members on the topic as well as the results of bench tests I performed on several voltage converters.

First the technical info:

The cigar lighters in the C7 fleet operate at the native voltage of the aircraft.  So, that’s nominally 24-28 volts in all planes except 735LL which is 12 volts.  Most automotive voltage converters are designed for the 12 volt electrical systems found in cars and have a maximum input voltage of 16-18 volts.  The results of using one of these in a 28 volt cigar lighter socket will vary depending on the design of the converter.

Our aircraft cigar lighter jacks are protected with slow-blow 7.5 amp in-line fuses (not panel breakers) which are located in the wiring behind the panel.  Dan warns that these may be difficult to find since there are other in-line fuses that could easily be confused.  7.5 amps is sufficient to power multiple devices so, if a fuse is blown, it’s probably due to a malfunctioning device plugged in or a metal object that shorts out the contacts in the jack.  So, the jack doesn’t double as a place to store pens/pencils – especially metalic ones.

The test results:

On my electronics bench, I tested a few cheap converters that I had and a couple that I found on Amazon.com that advertised input voltages > 28 volts (there are hundreds of different ones available and only a few bother to mention input voltage ratings – most assume car usage).  Here’s what I found:

  • None of them showed output voltage that would damage a device (not saying it’s impossible though)
  • One had 3 different input voltage ratings (the ratings listed on Amazon, printed on the box and on the info sheet in the box were all different!).  This one emitted a puff of white smoke at about 18 volts input
  • A couple just shut down at > 18 volts, but at least they didn’t self-destruct
  • A couple, advertised just as a car devices, worked fine up to 32 volts

So, a few tips from my research:

  • Try an existing converter if you’d like – but test it on the ground first so if it goes up in smoke, you won’t be dealing with it in flight
  • Don’t believe what you read for input voltage ratings – IF they’re even listed.  Most of these devices are designed for 12 volt cars
  • A good option would be the one advertised at Sporty’s (https://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/19034) which has been tested for 24-28 volt electrical systems – it’s $15 and don’t forget the C7 rebate
  • Look for devices that offer 2.1 amp USB ports – these are required to charge the power hungry iPads
  • Be aware that even if everything is working as designed, your iPad may still discharge (more slowly) or not charge at all.  The device draws > 2.1 amps in some configurations (bright screen, WiFi on, Cellular data on, etc.) so the converter can’t keep up.  Also, the iPad internally limits charging if the batteries are too hot/cold.

Maintenance – Joel Lehrke

The annual season continues with two airplanes left to complete.  54589 is in the shop as we speak and has had a very clean annual.  If you remember, we changed the engine out last year.  Everything from the overhaul looks great.  Oil, cylinders, compressions all are looking fantastic.  Dan states it appears we broke in the engine perfectly.  Right now we are in the process of installing a new windshield.  When it finally does get warmer and we have to clean the windshields, please remember to use the special green spray can for cleaning windscreens.   We now have several airplanes with new windscreens and we are trying to stay away from anything with ammonia (our bug juice).  Our windows do not like the stuff.You still use the bug juice to clean the rest of the airplane 😉

761SP will start it’s annual in March.

96418 had a circuit board issue with the #2 nav/com.  It has since been repaired at a cost of $690.

We have also run into a problem with the paint on 96418.  Upon further inspection, it appears something contaminated the paint during the drying.   We have talked with the paint shop and we will be taking the plane back down to the paint shop in the next couple of months to get the paint to a proper sheen.  Unfortunately, things like this happen, but the paint shop has been very good to work with while we solve this issue.