Please see below for my answers to popular questions about my personal training and support services for clients.
If you have any additional questions about my services, please feel free to contact me directly.
MOST POPULAR QUERIES
About the club
Why join a flying club?
Ok, you just filled a lifelong dream of getting your private pilot license. Now, you need a plane to fly. You could always buy one. But aircraft ownership can be expensive – planes aren’t cheap, and there are a lot of operational expenses – hanger rental, aircraft maintenance costs, engine overhaul costs, insurance, etc. You could also rent a plane. But aircraft rental can also be expensive – FBOs and flight schools usually embed business operations costs and flight school overhead into their aircraft rental fees, leading to higher rental fees.
What type of club is it?
What are the demographics of the current partners?
How are aircraft scheduled, and how often are they available?
How much does it cost?
How is the flight time calculated if I reserve an aircraft for the entire weekend, or for a week trip?
As mentioned above, flight time is based upon “tach” time of the engine. In other words, the member is only charged while the plane is flying… not for the time that the aircraft is “reserved”. However, to ensure members do not abuse the scheduling of aircraft, we do maintain a set of rules which ensure fair use of the aircraft. For example, 2 hr per day minimum when aircraft are scheduled for the entire weekend or holidays… Board approval if an aircraft is scheduled for a trip exceeding 14 days… etc.
Who does the maintenance on the aircraft?
Maintenance is performed by club members (for owner allowed maintence, and under supervision by an A&P), and a FAA certified A&P mechanic. This allows us to keep costs down. We have a Maintenance Officer, Plane Captains for each plane, and various maintenance teams specializing in specific maintenance activities.
What does it take to get “checked out” in the aircraft?
Before a member can use any of our aircraft, he or she must be “checked out” in the aircraft by one of our CFI’s. This encompasses both ground instruction as well as practical flight activities. Additionally, each aircraft has pilot currency requirements to ensure safe flight, as well as meet the requirements of the insurance company.
What insurance does the club have?
Club members are all named-insured by virtue of being equal partners in the Club. This means that the insurance company stands behind each of us in defense and payment of damage claims. Additionally, the insurance company has no right of subrogation against the members for damage recovery.
How can I join the Flying club?
email us or call us at 612-584-1740 for more information, or to join our group.
What is the main purpose of the club – flying, training, social?
The goal and philosophy of the Club is to fly great planes inexpensively. That said, we still have all-member meetings, several plane wash events over the year (some of which are required attendance), safety seminar events (some of which are required attendance), and even monthly lunch events.
History of the Club
What is the history of the Club?
Tailwinds Maintenance and Stories of the Early Days.
In July of 1974, three guys bought a very nice C172 and turned it into Tailwinds Club. N4680L. That number is still on the green cabinet in the hanger. We were on the south side of 21D, in a T‐hanger with an asphalt floor and a 100 watt light in the center. A non‐powered overhead door with only one cable support and a 400 lb counterweight. More than once the cable broke. The counterweight would make a very loud thud when it hit the floor but the door was slowed just by the air it had moved as it closed. No plane or person was ever in the way.
Irv Renner joined the club in November 1974. He and I did all the annuals up until three years ago; a total of 44 years. In October of that year, we bought a second 172. N1701— we called it the Starship. You Star Trek fans will note the number. It has a 215 hp Franklin engine. I say it has because it’s in a hanger across from my airplane. The owner flies it every month or two and does a nice job with improvements. It was maybe 10kt faster than 145 hp but the 172 could sure get off the ground quickly. I won a spot landing contest with 1701. 50 de flaps and lots of power I had an unfair advantage.
In 1977 we purchased a Beech Musketeer in Fort Meyers, Fl. A friend and I flew down
commercial and brought it back with a stop at Disney World. When we got to Fort Meyers, the club had already paid for the plane. There were 8 or 10 rivets missing from the elevator because of salt corrosion (still flyable) and the seller said the mic relay would stick, but he showed me how to kick the relay with my left foot to unstick it. A very nice plane, with lots of room and you sit up nicely. A little slow for the HP. Overall, a good trip back (only a few kicks necessary).
fire and burnt up 4 brand new Bellanca Vikings.
In 1988 we built our hanger. Irv and I were still doing annuals in the winter with no heat and mostly at night after work. We were young and dumb. Three years later Irv and I installed the heater over the Six. No ceiling or insulation in the hanger but we thought it was wonderful.
In June of 1985 we purchased a non‐turbo Arrow. Everybody loved this plane and some of us still do. For a short time, we also had a Piper Warrior that was somewhat unloved. I liked it but I like all planes.
February of 1992, we purchased a Beech Sierra. Comfortable and roomy and known as one of the slowest retractables that you can buy. Another plane that was somewhat unloved. But I loved it. The last Tailwinds flight I flew was to Cleveland for the new owner. It lives in Nome, Alaska now?
The next plane was the Cherokee Six in June 1994. We flew to the middle to Missouri (with my newly minted Twin rating in a rented Twin Comanche) to meet the owner who came from Texas to meet us halfway. We said we would buy it. He said “Here are the keys, take it home and send us a check.” Those were the very good old days. And yes, we did send them a check. The following Friday at 7:00pm I’m in my recliner and Mark W called, “I’m at Meigs Field in downtown Chicago (before Mayor Daley sent his bulldozers on into tear up the runway) with three people and a helicopter blew the door off the C210 that I’m flying. Can you come and get us?” Sure, who needs a checkout in any Cherokee? Lake Elmo ‐ Meigs Field and then 45 minutes south to pick up another stranded person and home. Home at 4:00am, very tired with a bad headache. Is this what it's like being a Charter Pilot? I’ve had the Six from a 1050 miles north in Canada to Key West and from Boston to San Diego. I really like that plane.
In April of 1999 we purchased a Piper Turbo Arrow with A/C. A lot of people said to never have a turbo in a flying club. The turbo never added much to the maintenance but the A/C did. That was another much loved plane. We sold that so we could go looking for a Cirrus. We learned that someone in Brazil bought the Arrow and the owner’s son is coming to Lake Elmo to fly home. A business jet pilot, he way overloaded the Arrow. I asked if I could take one of his passengers and some of the luggage to New Richmond so he could have a longer runway. He said it would be OK and it was but not by much. A few minutes later he came back and circled around the airport for 15 minutes. Finally I watch the gear retracted and he was on his way. I think it took that long to find the latch to retract the gear at lower speed. The plane had Piper auto gear extend, The Arrow a
runout engine and he was on his way to Brazil. We found out that it sat in Atlanta for five
weeks. Maybe a new engine? We also got a report that he safely arrived home, 56 hours later. There was a rumor about that it was coming back to the US.