Club Operations

Guidance for Member use of our Airplanes

Should you decide to take one of our airplanes to go flying, please be sure to remember the following:

  1. Robinson's lobby is open for limited hours.  After-hour requests (such as fuel) up to 8 pm are charged at $150/hour, more if it is later. Check their website for details.
  2. New Haven Aviation Center has generously offered to let us use their gate for entering and exiting the airport – a real convenience outside of the hours that Robinson is open. If you need the passcode, please contact Laura (lfbaldwin@aol.com; 203-517-5409 cell).
  3. Please be sure to disinfect the cabin and controls as outlined below.  This guidance will be sent with each reservation confirmation scheduled on Flight Circle.  Charlie has supplied each airplane with gloves, but bring your own disinfectant.

COVID-19 Cleaning/Disinfection Information

Please consider the following recommendations when using the club's aircraft to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 Virus to yourself and all of our members:

        - WASH your hands or use hand sanitizer (Purell, etc) before arriving at the aircraft

        - While wearing gloves, use a Clorox-type wipe to WIPE DOWN the door latches and key cockpit controls (yoke, throttle, mixture, flaps, trim, etc)

        - USE an alcohol pad or spray some rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth to wipe the Garmin screen and all the radio and instrument knobs

        - NOTE: DO NOT USE CLEANERS THAT CONTAIN AMMONIA --IT WILL DAMAGE THE SCREEN ON THE GARMIN GPS AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS

        - NOTE: DO NOT SPRAY THE INSTRUMENTS DIRECTLY -- SPRAY A CLOTH AND USE IT TO WIPE 

        - NOTE: DO NOT USE HAND SANITIZER ON THE INSTRUMENTS (including the Garmin GPS Unit!)  -- IT CAN DAMAGE THEM!

  • Both billing and airplane reservations are handled through Flight Circle.  Basic orientation and instructions for Flight Circle software is here.  For further information and to be invited to create an account within Flight Circle, please contact our Billing Officer, Josh Snow.
  • Members are asked to be polite about scheduling the aircraft: cancel reservations promptly if the flight will not be made, and return the aircraft on time. Currently there is a $10 charge for failing to cancel a reservation that will not be used. In addition, dual instruction same-day cancellations are subject to a $30 fee.
  • Standby: You can also sign up for a block of time on Standby, and it will show in Flight Circle as such, with a purple background. If the reserved time becomes available, Flight Circle will contact you. This is can be particularly useful on weekends and in good weather.
  • Further, if an airplane comes back early, the reservation will show with a grayed-out background.  Once an airplane is thus "checked-in", you may reserve it even though the original, more extensive reservation still shows.

When you arrive at the airport, you should expect the aircraft to be in good condition.  If the aircraft is not up to this standard, please let chief pilot Charlie Skelton (203-640-3580) know so he can improve matters.  

Remember:

  • CAREFUL WITH THE BRAKES!!! We have had 5 tire changes in one year, with “flat spots” often seen on the tires of both airplanes.  This is most commonly caused by landing while holding the brakes or braking too hard to make the first turn off the runway.  PLEASE, be kind to the tires, and watch how you are using the brakes.
  • ALL instruments turned off –particularly important for doing the hot mag check at shut-down, since an unexpected electrical surge could fry delicate avionics equipment left on!
  • Be sure the seat-back covers are in place (these help prevent wear) in 55044.
  • TAKE OUT THE TRASH! Please be sure any spare paper, charts, etc are removed after your flight.
  • Tied down securely, with proper knots, taut lines, and no spare length of rope that can whip around in the wind.  Please ask if you need a demo or some practice in this vital area for airplane security.
  • Gust lock is in position, window closed, aircraft locked (both baggage compartment AND door), COVER ON!

Be sure to leave our airplanes secure and clean – just like YOU would like to find them!

  • Pre-heating is a must when temperatures have been below 20 degrees at any time during the preceding 9-12 hours! One way to check if preheating is needed is by checking cylinder head temperature (CHT) during preflight. It should be at LEAST 30°F. Remember that NO ONE should be inside the airplane when it is being preheated.  Check out the CO monitor – it will go black!
  • Light de-icing takes place outside: 15 minutes with the tail of the airplane into the sun, followed by 5-10 minutes with the front of the wings into the sun should do the trick. Excessive melted water can be wiped off the wings, but it is best to just let water blow off once the aircraft is in the air. NEVER scrape frost off the windshield, or the wings for that matter – there is dirt in that frozen water, and it will cloud the Plexiglas & scrape the paint.   If there is heavy frost, de-icing will require the hangar for a meltdown.
  • TO HANGAR THE AIRPLANES, or for any pre-heating questions, contact our chief pilot, Charlie Skelton (203-640-3580). And be sure to tip those line guys a few dollars if they are preheating out in the cold for you for 20 minutes! .
  • AVOID UNCONTROLLED FLIGHT! Winter flying is indeed something else. Our types of aircraft were not designed to traverse snow covered, iced-over ground so take caution: you are in a new environment (it is not a four wheel-drive!). Some very simple things: the Piper step is a small piece of cold metal, dark in color; it can be iced over even from previously stepping on it during preflight. The black walkway can be black ice. Stepping down from the wing onto ice can be dangerous.  Be sure not to be the next uncontrolled human flight!

Our airplanes can be refueled by calling Robinson, who will send out a fuel truck.  The club will reimburse members for fuel purchased when away from KHVN.  Please indicate the purchase when checking in the airplane, and save the receipt for the Treasurer.

Oil should be checked before every flight.  If the quantity is below 6 quarts, please add a FULL quart, throw away the empty container, and acquire a new quart from Robinson so there is always a complete quart of oil available in the airplane.

Any discrepancy from normal should be brought to the attention of the maintenance officer first by entering the squawk on the clipboard AND in Flight Circle, then by texting or calling our maintenance officer, Charlie Skelton 203-640-3580. If you have any questions or any doubts, please call for advice and clarification.