July 1, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Bowling Green, Ohio-based Eagle Air Flying Club, with 21 members, is focused on spreading the joy of flying in safe, well-maintained aircraft. The club, a 501(c)(7) nonprofit, was founded in June 2003 at Wood County Regional Airport, said President Dave Cole.
The club has two aircraft: a 1966 Cherokee 140 with a 160-horsepower engine and Piper Arrow II, said Cole. And membership deposits and dues are based on the type of aircraft that members want to fly, he added.
The standard membership gives members access to the Cherokee, and the complex membership covers both aircraft, said Cole. “The main reason we did this is because the Arrow is a more complex aircraft, so insurance and expenses on it are higher,” he said. “Having split fees helps keep costs down for those not ready for the Arrow and allows others who are willing to pay extra to have access to the Arrow.”
The deposit is $500 for a standard membership and $700 for the Arrow, said Cole. “Eighty percent of the deposit is refunded if you leave the club,” he said. Dues are $80 a month for standard and $110 for complex,” he added.
The club uses hourly wet rates. “The rate for the Cherokee is $89 Hobbs and $123 Tach for the Arrow,” said Cole. “The Cherokee is used for a lot of training, and it tends to be beat up a bit. The Arrow is more advanced, and doing Tach time encourages pilots to pull the throttle back and save fuel.”
There is no flight training for members, but there is a list of approved CFIs that can fly club aircraft, said Cole. “Some of the CFIs are club members and some are from nearby Bowling Green University. Our members can hire them as contractors and learn to fly on club aircraft.”
Cole’s advice to other flying clubs is simple: Keep members involved by keeping it fun. “Engage them to participate in the group. Also, avoid debt whenever possible, because it keeps you out of complex situations,” he said. “Finally, run your club like a business and accrue money for aircraft maintenance and upgrades.”
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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As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
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