President’s Message #3 Feb 2021

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      John DeRosaJohn DeRosa

        Message From the President #3

        February 2021


        Dear Fellow Sky Soaring Members,


        This is my third message as president of Sky Soaring.  I am using this communications channel to keep you in the loop about member work that is ongoing, work that the board is doing for your benefit, and what future activities are being planned for 2021.


        Hope that everyone is staying healthy.   My fervent hope is that all of us will be able to receive our Covid-19 vaccine inoculations in the coming weeks.


        Here’s to a very safe 2021 flying season.


        Thank You,
        John DeRosa
        President, Sky Soaring Glider Club



        A repository of previous President’s Messages can be found at (login required)




        President’s Report


        Boy, we have had a lot of snow since my last message.  The field’s driveway is passable but just barely – which is good because there has been work done and to do in the hangar to get ready for spring flying.  If you have a snow plow, or know of someone that does, please let me know.


        Our regular third Saturday February membership meeting has been postponed until Wednesday, February 24 at 7:30 PM due to conflicting maintenance work scheduled in the hangar on February 20th.


        Last several months I spoken about the potential for an insurance rate increase.  Towards that end we formed a “Safety Initiatives” committee and recently provided a report to our SSA group insurance broker, Costello Insurance, on the details of our work to increase our safety culture.  We received back a very supportive message that, ”It should be very helpful in my negotiations with the insurance carrier.”.  Good news – now for our follow thru to be safe.  Remember, safety is <u>everyone’s</u> responsibility!


        On Saturday, February 27th, the Chicagoland Glider Council is hosting a one-day virtual Seminar with four speakers.  As the Seminar’s chairman I have reached out to some key soaring players to speak on competition, safety, Condor simulator, avionics and online soaring tool use.  Details can be found at


        REMINDER: Are you aware that both the Chicagoland Glider Council and the Soaring Society of America have scholarships and monetary awards that you may be able to qualify for?  Here are some examples;


        Chicagoland Glider Council – – Youth grants aver available to fund training.  Apply by March 31.  Open to Chicago area youths only.

        Soaring Society of America – – Flight Training Scholarships and Awards.

        > Cadet Youth Flight Scholarship

        > Dennis Purduski Flight Training Scholarship

        > Costello Insurance Flight Training Scholarship

        > SSA Flight Training Scholarships

        > Stoffel Flight Training Scholarship

        > Bultman Service Award

        > SSA Junior CFI-G Fight Training Scholarship

        > Spirit Of Dr. John H. Campbell Junior CFI-G Scholarship

        > Kolstad Achievement Award

        > Civil Air Patrol SSA Partnership


        Another Reminder – I am looking for two volunteers, a “Weekday Coordinator” and a “Social Coordinator”.  Neither position is difficult, nor time consuming.  The first coordinator’s job is to keep an eye on the weather and then raise interest in weekday flying via emails to the membership.  Sometimes this happens spontaneously by the members themselves but past experience shows that a coordinator can convince others to join in the fun.  The social coordinator will help host events we had to miss in 2020 such as Labor Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day and other holiday gatherings and barbecues.  Contact myself to get more details and suggestions.






        Several things have been going on.


        The Lark’s leading edge repair is in its final stages of completion.


        The Pawnee’s annual should be completed by the end of the month.  As said before the engine checkup has been completed and has been given a clean bill of health for the coming season.  New spark plugs have been installed.  The recurring AD inspection of the wing struts has been scheduled.  Some additional work on the airframe and then reassembly of the cowling, fuselage panels, etc, will complete our work.


        The leaky hangar plumbing repairs have been completed.  Not to mention that the long dormant shower has been resurrected with a new valve assembly, shower head, etc.  Sorry, the whirlpool tub option was vetoed.  Remember to bring your towel, soap, and shower cap on that next hot and humid late summer day.


        Many thanks to John Lincoln (Maintenance Chairman), Larry Kase, Gary Palumbo, Don Grillo, Jim Hopkins, Steve Snyder, Gary Tomczyk, Tim Ponsot, and others for their continuing efforts.  We all owe them a path on their backs.



        Flight Chairman



        Don Grillo is working in multiple areas.  The new “Blue Book” form has been released and will be used by all members going forward.  Don and Mike Hurd have been updating the Policies and Procedures manual.  A  training syllabus has been chosen for new students starting flight training   – Bob Wander’s “Learning to Fly Gliders – A Flight-Training Handbook & Syllabus”.  Several copies of this spiral bound book have been obtained and are in the office for purchase for $20.


        Reminder that all members must complete the Soaring Safety Foundation’s (SSF) wing runner course before the beginning of the flying season.  ( Also all tow pilots must complete the SSF’s Tow Pilot course (


        Finally, you should have received Don’s email concerning our yearly Spring Safety Meeting scheduled for March 20th at 9AM.  This is a MANDATORY meeting for every member.  This will be held in the hangar (with required social distancing and masks) and via Zoom.   Don’s email can be seen in the Sky Soaring General Discussion forum at (login required).



        Vice President


        John Osborn has vacated the area and is basking in the warmth of Florida.  That being said he continues to work with the board on our efforts updating our documentation.  He also continues in the role of Chairman of the Finance Initiatives Committee.





        Winter is generally a quiet financial time of the year as to expenses.  On the positive side of the ledger dues have been coming in.  Did you know that if you pay your dues for the entire year that you get a free 3,000 foot aero tow?


        Another recent positive event revolves around adding to our engine fund which we will make use of next winter.  The following members have made cash donations to the fund – Hurd, Hopkins, Grillo, Snyder, Osborn, Lincoln and DeRosa.  These following additional members have stepped up to become early Patron members of the club – Folwarczny, Burke, Chicewitz, Scott, Moy, Steffens and Frederick.  Congratulations to each of our new Patron members and thanks to all for adding to the important engine fund.





        Membership meeting minutes can be found at (login required)

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