Flying Club Connector Newsletter: February 2013




February 2013

These are the Good Old Days

Pilots often talk about the "Good Old Days" of flying as a thing of yesteryear. But in Ithaca, New York, the East Hill Flying Club is proving there is no time like the present, as Adam Smith found out on a visit there in December.


Question of the Month

What are some best practices to improve safety for our club?

Safety is one of the most important issues facing any flying club. One effective tool is having Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Chris Lawler, AOPA's Flying Club Network Manager, talks about the benefits of having SOPs for clubs large or small.


Monthly Poll

Does your club base its hourly rates on Hobbs time or Tach time?

In last month's Poll we asked what type of aircraft your club operates. Of the responses, 88 percent operate single-engine land aircraft, with lower numbers operating more complex aircraft, such as multi-engine—9 percent; high performance— 20 percent; and complex—15 percent.

Click Here to Register Click Here to Register

In last month's Poll we asked what type of aircraft your club operates. Of the responses, 88 percent operate single-engine land aircraft, with lower numbers operating more complex aircraft, such as multi-engine—9 percent; high performance— 20 percent; and complex—15 percent.


Club Spotlight

Zero to 130 Members in Two Yearsflabob club

The Flabob Aero Club in Riverside, California, has extremely low costs because of a unique operating agreement with the airport owner and operator, the non-profit Wathen Center, which has helped it attract a lot of members quickly. The club also shares the benefits and challenges of operating tailwheel aircraft and an LSA—in this case a Tecnam. Here is our Q&A with Club President Walter Wasowski and a few other members.



Reviving a Flying Club

nyc at nightHow do you restart a flying club when you don't have an airplane, or a clubhouse, or dues, and only have a list email addresses? A few dedicated pilots on Nantucket are going off the airport to engage the community and create partnerships in hopes of building an organization that provides opportunities year-round on the island. The first step? Have a free movie night at the local theater and show an aviation documentary on a cold January night.


How About a Dozen Flying Clubs for Breakfast?

Last month we reported on the how the Leading Edge Flying Club made the best out of it's planned multi-club fly-out in December because of IFR conditions, including rescheduling the event for January. It was a huge success with a dozen clubs and more than 20 aircraft getting together for breakfast in Janesville, Wisconsin.


From the pages of AOPA Pilot Magazine

Buying Into the Dream

buying into dreamThe January 2013 issue of AOPA Pilot features a story about the Michigan Flyers experience operating a Cessna 162 Skycatcher, the first LSA in the club’s fleet. It has been successful in attracting new members to the club that were interested in earning a Sport Pilot Certificate. Members find it fun to fly, however there are a few things to be aware of. For instance, taking more care in calculating weight and balance, watching for the pitot tube, which is at eye level and easily blends into the color of hangars and ramps, and finding the right price point for hourly rental.


To watch the companion video, click here.

Send Us Your News

Each month we will share a roundup of stories about flying clubs, whether they are published in aviation media or local papers, and you can help. If your club has received some media coverage-newspaper, TV, radio, or online-let us know so we can share your accomplishments and activities with the flying club community. Send stories to [email protected].

In the News

First Ever Flying Club Scholarship Offered


Do you want to start a flying club? Ground Effect Advisors (GEA) is offering the Flying Club Scholarship as a tool to help give a new club some lift. The winning club will receive more than $3,500 worth of products and services from partners such as Sporty's Pilot Shop, David Clark, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge, and AOPA. Applications are being accepted through May 1, 2013 with the winner being announced on June 1. For more information go to or call 773.414.5000.

To read more about it, see the story in General Aviation News, Feb. 7, 2013 or listen to Todd McClamroch talk to AvWeb about the Flying Club Scholarship AvWeb Podcast, Feb. 7, 2013.

North Texas Flying Club: Tips Help Weather the Storm


By Benet Wilson

With the economy continuing to struggle, clubs are looking for effective ways to keep costs low and keep flying affordable. The McKinney-based North Texas Flying Club has a flexible structure in how it leases aircraft that allows it to downsize or enlarge its fleet to match demand. One of the 11 AOPA Pathfinder Clubs is a great resource for tips on how to start a flying club or how to survive in a turbulent economy.


Are Flying Clubs the Answer?
Air Facts Journal, Jan. 24, 2013

Skyhawk Flying Club in Omaha, NE has Memberships for Sale
Pilots of America chat room, Jan. 24, 2013

New Flying Club in Lakeland, Florida Seeking Members
Osprey Observer, Jan. 31, 2013

Flying Club in India Struggles to Survive without Flight Instructor
The Hindu, Feb. 4, 2013

Montana Airport Manager, Chairman Want to Start a Flying Club
The [Libby, MT] Western News, Feb. 6, 2013

Meet a Non-Pilot Getting into Aviation by Starting a Flying Club
General Aviation News, Feb. 7, 2013


"Anatomy of a Flying Club"

Adam Smith, Senior Vice President of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community and other flying club experts will discuss some of the best practices that help make a flying club successful. Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:00 pm. Click Here To Register.

Click Here to Register
In case you missed the "Selecting the Right Aircraft" webinar on February 13, in which Adam Smith, and other flying club experts explained what you should consider when choosing aircraft for your club, you can watch a replay by clicking here.


Chart Challenge: Coming to a town near you!chart challenge

Aeronautical charts are one of the most fundamental parts of flying—but how many times has a passenger or maybe your instructor during a BFR ask whatt something on the chart means and you weren't sure? The Chart Challenge is an in-person seminar being held in 100 different locations meant to help you master charts. This refresher covers everything from VFR sectionals to instrument approach plates, and digs into the practical issues that come with them.


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