January 7, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
The Lexington Flying Club, formed at Kentucky’s Blue Grass Airport in 1953, strives to offer its members low-cost flying, safety training, and continuing pilot education, according to President Mike Proctor.
The club, which operates as a nonprofit, currently has 116 members; 90 are active dues payers and 26 are inactive. The fleet comprises one Cessna 152, two Cessna 172s, a Piper Archer, and a Diamond DA40. “In addition we have another C172 on leaseback,” said Proctor.
There are two levels of membership—Cessna-only and one where all airplanes are available, said Proctor. “There is a one-time initiation fee for each level and monthly dues at each level,” he said. The initiation fees are $200 and $500, respectively. Cessna member dues are $41.50 a month, while rates for all aircraft are $58 a month.
Hourly flying rates are based on the tachometer hour recorder and include gas, said Proctor. “If you buy gas somewhere cheaper, you get reimbursed, plus a rebate equivalent to what gas costs at home,” he said. “If you buy gas somewhere more expensive, you are reimbursed only for the price at home.”
While the Lexington Flight Club is not in the flight instruction business, its insurance coverage allows for members to get instruction as long as the board approves each flight instructor, said Proctor. The club has 12 approved instructors, with 30 students, primary and instrument combined, he added.
For those wanting to start a club, Proctor’s advice was simple—charge enough to cover expenses and save for those engine overhauls. “Avoi d one-time assessments for big ticket items. Don’t do in-house mechanic work. Make that an arms-length business transaction,” he said. “Consider borrowing money from members, because it’s usually cheaper than at banks. We ask for enough funds to make the interest payment equal to the member’s dues for the duration of the loan.”
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