March 12, 2014
By AOPA Communications staff
March 12, 2014
Contact: Steve Hedges
Frederick, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) released on Wednesday a helpful new tool that will steer members through the critical steps of starting a flying club. “AOPA’s Guide to Starting a Flying Club” identifies the most important aspects to consider when bringing a club from inception to full operation.
“This guide was created to provide a useful roadmap to pilots starting a club,” said Woody Cahall, leader of AOPA’s flying club initiative. “It addresses the biggest roadblocks to starting new flying clubs and it provides commonsense advice that pilots will be able to apply when launching clubs all over the country.”
Each chapter in the guide covers a specific topic of interest from how to choose the right aircraft to insurance considerations. AOPA has also assembled a collection of sample documents, forms, and other useful resources, such as sample operating rules and aircraft lease agreements.
Download “AOPA’s Guide to Starting a Flying Club” on the website.
AOPA’s 2012 research on flying clubs proved the overwhelmingly positive impact clubs have on the GA community. The survey found that more than half of all active pilots are past or present members of a flying club and virtually all of them consider club membership as a positive experience.
AOPA’s efforts around flying clubs are aimed at building a stronger community in which more people earn pilot certificates, pilots are more active and the flying lifetime of pilots is extended.
In addition to the new starter guide, AOPA provides many other resources to help strengthen existing clubs and encourage new ones:
• AOPA Flying Club Insurance Program – Several exciting new features include the ability to “stack” non-owner policy limits. A club member who owns 20 percent or less of the club aircraft and has significantly greater assets than other members can buy a Non-Owner policy and have those policy limits “stack” on top of the club aircraft insurance policy limits. This allows individual flying club members to secure the higher liability protections they might individually desire or require. This is a kind of policy customization never before found in a club policy. The program also allows for special rates for clubs between three and 10 members (with flat rates available as needed for clubs that grow beyond that level). It is also now easier for clubs with more than ten members to get insurance, and the new program does not charge for “social members.”
• Aircraft Finance - Through its finance company, AOPA has a new program that offers up to 50 percent financing with no personal guaranties for established clubs and, on an exception basis, for larger start-up clubs. If a member of the flying club is able to guarantee the loan, AOPA Aviation Finance Company (AAF) has programs that provide up to 70 percent financing.
• “Club Connector” – A monthly newsletter that allows clubs to share information, resources, best practices and work together on issues of mutual concern.
• Flying Club Webinars
• AOPA Flying Club Network Facebook Page
“There are more than 600 flying clubs in the U.S. and AOPA is committed to helping grow that number,” said Cahall. “Flying clubs have introduced thousands of people to the fun and camaraderie of flying. As the general aviation industry seeks to reverse rising costs and diminishing pilot numbers, flying clubs are one important solution to keeping general aviation strong and growing.”
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association. With representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., and seven regions across the United States, AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media products. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.
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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)?
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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