Engineers Flying Club: Turning out private pilots for $4,000

July 4, 2014

The Cessna 182S is one of three aircraft used by the Engineers Flying Club.

The Oklahoma City-based Engineers Flying Club, organized in 1967, was originally formed by engineers who worked for the FAA or Tinker Air Force Base. The club currently has pilots from all professions and all walks of life, and members do not have to be engineers, said President Greg Flournoy.

The nonprofit club, based at Wiley Post Airport, is capped at its current membership of 45. “We did this to keep the ratio of pilots-to-club aircraft at 15 each,” said Flournoy.

The Engineers Flying Club currently has three aircraft:  two Cessna 172s and a Cessna 182.  All three are IFR capable with WAAS-enabled GPS, said Flournoy.

New club members have a $750 buy-in with a $250 deposit, plus the first month’s dues of $125, said Flournoy. “Thereafter, dues remain at $125 per month, with hourly usage fees associated with each aircraft,” he said. “The deposit is refunded when the member resigns from the club in good standing.” Hourly dry aircraft rates are $29 for the Cessna 172M, $35 for the Cessna 172S, and $44 for the Cessna 182S.

The Engineers Flying Club offers flight training, said Flournoy. “Depending on the student pilot, costs for a private pilot license are in the $4,000 neighborhood. This does not include ground school,” he said. “We currently have six instructors with two private pilot students and four instrument students. All student pilots are club members.”

The club is quite active with nonflying activities. “One of our instructors is a FAASTeam representative and the club is going to sponsor some of these events locally in the near future,” said Flournoy. “The club has a yearly picnic during the flying season where club members gather to have lunch, socialize, swap stories and at the same time have a hangar cleaning party.”

All three aircraft are available for discovery flights and for some short-field and soft-field instruction from a club instructor, said Flournoy. “The club also meets once a month, [with] meetings consisting of an events update, an operational update, a maintenance update, a safety briefing, door prizes and a guest speaker,” he said. “Guest speakers include club instructors, airport managers, control tower personnel, air traffic personnel, military air safety personnel from Tinker AFB and Vance AFB in Enid, Okla., the Civil Air Patrol, the Oklahoma Aeronautical Commission, and the Oklahoma Pilots Association to name just a few.”  The club also has a yearly Christmas party with dinner, a social hour, a guest speaker, and door prizes, he added.

Flournoy advised those who want to start a club to use the resources in the AOPA Flying Club Network. “Hats off to the AOPA for taking a proactive approach to starting flying clubs all over the country this year,” he said. “There’s lots of good advice and information on all aspects of forming and maintaining flying clubs on this website.” Another avenue is to contact other flying clubs and ask questions about their organization, said Flournoy. “We have found that other flying clubs are more than glad to share information.”

Benét Wilson

Benét J. Wilson | AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor

AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.