August 23, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
The New Hampshire Flying Association, incorporated in 1961, limits membership to 17 to ensure that all members get equal access to the club’s aircraft. The flying club currently has 14 members.
The club, which has been around informally since 1948 and is based at Boire Field in Nashua, is a nonprofit organization that is operated by its members, with no official employees, said President Jeffrey Sutton.
A series of single-engine aircraft has been the choice for the New Hampshire Flying Association for many years, trading up along the way, said Sutton. “Currently we are flying an A36 Bonanza that we’ve had since 2005. Before that we had a V35B, and an Arrow prior to that,” he said. “At the moment, we are adding a second airplane as a leaseback, a PA28-181 Archer, to expand the club.”
The club has one level of membership for the Bonanza: a $2,200 share price where 60 percent is refundable if a departing member does not have a replacement, said Sutton. Dues are $268 a month fixed, which covers items including insurance and hangar rent. It costs $150 an hour wet, to use the aircraft, with three hours per quarter minimum.
“Once the Archer is online, we’ll have a second level of membership (non-share) for Archer-only members,” said Sutton.
Because the New Hampshire Flying Association flies a complex, high-performance aircraft, it is not organized to provide primary flight instruction, said Sutton. “We do transition training for already qualified applicants, biennial flight reviews, and instrument currency flights for members,” he said. “If that’s not enough, we also have Nashua Flight Simulator on the field, which offers a Bonanza sim that members use.”
Although the club doesn’t have organized social events, the aircraft is used to attend many aviation-related events that the members share, said Sutton. “The Bonanza has been to Oshkosh, Sun 'n Fun, the Tullahoma Beechcraft Heritage Museum event, landed on the ice at the Alton Bay fly-in, and went to Washington Dulles for the final flight of Space Shuttle Discovery,” he said.
Having a solid financial plan is important for those wanting to start or maintain their flying club, said Sutton. “With the changes in GA, good and bad, and the overall aging of the fleet, the financial plan needs to keep up,” he said. “Make sure there’s even more room in the budget for increasing maintenance, since parts costs are not going down, compliance, and upgrades for avionics, engine, and the aircraft.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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