Top 10 tips for flying clubs

AOPA hosts webinar to support flying clubs

January 8, 2013

AOPA aviation experts will host a webinar at 8 p.m. Jan. 9 to discuss best practices for flying clubs as part of AOPA’s initiative to support and expand the approximately 650 flying clubs now operating in the U.S.

Flying clubs are favored by both veteran and new pilots as an affordable way to pursue their pastime in a variety of different airplanes. Many clubs also offer initial instruction to student pilots, as well as club fly-in activities and other events that help support general aviation and build community.

“We know that there is a great pool of expertise out there among those who have operated flying clubs for a long time,” said Adam Smith, AOPA’s senior vice president of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community. “We recently launched the AOPA Flying Club Network because we feel it’s one of the best ways to support clubs. Our series of webinars is designed to build on that effort.”

Those interested in taking part in the webinar may register online.

AOPA recently hosted a webinar on “How to start a flying club,” which attracted about 600 participants. Nearly that many are registered for the Jan. 9 webinar.

Smith will host the webinar with Chris Lawler, manager of AOPA’s Flying Club Network, and Charlie Becker, director of corporate partnerships and products at AOPA.

Webinar topics will include tips for working within a flying club’s culture, maintaining financial controls, setting club goals and marketing plans, taking care of new members, and establishing a social space for club functions.

“We recognize that the management tasks many flying clubs face can really weigh them down, especially as they start up,” Becker said. “We want to share some methods that can help clubs function efficiently and keep the emphasis on flying, not accounting.”

AOPA last year established the Center to Advance the Pilot Community to address the declining number of pilots now active in the U.S. Since the 1980s, that number has decreased from about 800,000 pilots to about 600,000 today. AOPA’s nearly 400,000 members make up most of those active pilots.