February 18, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
The Skies Unlimited flying club, based at New Jersey’s Trenton Mercer County Airport, was formed in the spring of 2013 by David Duvak, founder and chief flight instructor, and Deniece de Priester. de Priester made global headlines after landing a Piper Cherokee Six in New York’s Hudson River in January 2013.
The mission of the club is to provide its 20 members with quality activities and a fun environment with a simple line of aircraft, said Duvak. “We are a nonprofit club. We decided on this because we wanted to be more affordable than other clubs and schools based around the greater Trenton area,” he said.
Skies Unlimited has a Piper Archer II and a Zenith Alarus CH2000. The rates are wet, and the club charges by tach time. The Archer rents for $139 an hour, while the Alarus rents for $99 an hour. The club doesn’t currently have enrollment or membership fees, said Duvak.
The club offers private and instrument instruction, said Duvak, for around $6,000 per rating. “We plan to commence training for the multiengine rating later this year,” he added. Duvak has six members who are students.
Duvak advised new clubs similar to Skies Unlimited to determine their mission in aviation. “Stick with growing your club and use resources from other nearby clubs.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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)?
The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.
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