February 15, 2014
By Woody Cahall, VP Pilot Information Center
Reading through reports from clubs on the activities they conducted over the past few months, I couldn't help but notice all of the social events that began around Thanksgiving and continued through January. In many parts of the country, late November marks the beginning of the seasonal slowdown in flying hours but the best of the clubs realize that this doesn't mean that their members go into hibernation. For the clubs that are less affected by the winter weather, it's just a great season to celebrate our freedom of flight, reflect on the past year, and share club ideas with friends for the upcoming year.
Though often not the main reason members join a club, social activities and the club camaraderie that surrounds them are primary reasons members stay with a club - some for decades. While flexible aircraft use, variety of aircraft, and low cost drive the initial decision to join, it is the social component that fires the greatest motivator—emotion.
No doubt that the social aspects of a club are high value, but what about the hassle? In looking at the range of activities that clubs undertake, it's clear that some do require a great deal of planning, while others are far less complicated. A major holiday banquet or a club trip certainly require more effort than a weekend social with hot dogs.
Choose what is right for your club but do make it a priority to keep the social aspect of your club alive all year long. The value is very high.
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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