The right setup helps flying clubs take off

June 17, 2008

You probably already know that being part of a flying club is a great way to share aircraft ownership and costs, but the success of any club depends in large part on the underlying structure.

Whether you’re joining an existing club or starting one of your own, you’ll want to be sure it’s well organized.

“Start small and make sure that you have every eventuality planned for,” recommends Joe Fox, a longtime flying club member and past secretary of his 42-member Inn Flying Club in suburban Maryland.

Fox’s club, which has been around for 40 years, is set up as a corporation with a volunteer board of directors to handle administrative duties. The seven-member board includes a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, chief maintenance officer, membership coordinator, and head flight instructor. Each board member is elected and one, the treasurer, has his monthly dues waived to help compensate for the significant time commitment of the position.

Flying clubs don’t have to be corporations and can be set up in a variety of ways, but there is one thing you want to be sure of, no matter how you organize the club.

“Make sure that everyone has a tangible stake in the club, so that they treat the aircraft, and the money, as their own, because it is,” advises Fox.

To learn more about how to set up a flying club of your own, visit the AOPA Pilot Information Center online, or give AOPA a call at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).