Flying Club Connector Newsletter: May 2013

Flying Club on Mission to Engage Youth

On his way back from Sun ‘n Fun, AOPA Vice President for the Center to Advance the Pilot Community Adam Smith, dropped in at the Peach State Aerodrome (GA2) in Williamson, Georgia where he found the Candler Field Flying Club. Its founding mission was to use the club as a way to pass on the legacy of flight to the next generation. Adam shares some of the creative ways the club is doing just that.

Question of the month
Can our club offer Discovery Flights?

Chris Lawler, AOPA’s Flying Club Manager, explains how a club may offer Discovery Flights and what rules and regulations you need to be aware of if you do.

Monthly Poll

If your club airplane has an incident who would pay the deductible?



In April we asked for your opinion about adding a helicopter to your fleet. 25 percent of clubs embraced the idea and 12 percent would at least consider it, but 63 percent of clubs were completely disinterested. We don’t know of a single flying club that has a helicopter, let us know if you find one out there!


Club Spotlight

Taildraggers-only Flying Club

There was a time decades ago when most pilots learned to fly in a taildragger. If you wanted to rent one, they weren’t hard to find. That’s not as true today, which is why the Bowman Eagles was formed. It is a flying club that only operates tailwheel aircraft with a simple purpose–offer pilots an opportunity to do some basic, fun flying at an affordable price.


Using Fly-Outs and Facebook to Connect Pilots and Build Confidence

For the Fox Flying Club in Illinois, it’s all about participation. It carefully plans fly-outs and encourages members to use its Facebook page to find mentors and safety pilots so newer pilots can build skills and confidence–whether it’s flying into Class C airspace, flying at night or planning a long cross country. The result, 85 percent of its members are current at any one time and more pilots are getting IFR ratings.


AOPA 2013 Flight Training Excellence Awards

Last year AOPA introduced the Flight Training Excellence Awards to recognize the best schools and flight instructors in the country.

The national award winners were selected from over 2,400 nominations using a rigorous point–allocation system. When the final scores were tallied, we were especially pleased to see East Hill Flying Club of Ithaca, NY as one of the top 10 flight training providers in the country. This reflected credit not just to EHFC, but on the high standards at many flying clubs.

This year’s awards process is now underway with the opening of the 2013 Flight Training Excellence Poll. We are asking everyone that has received flight instruction in the past 2 years to share feedback about their experience. For more information visit here.

The deadline to complete the poll is Aug. 9 and award winners will be announced at AOPA Summit, October 10 – 12. Participants do not have to be AOPA members.

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

Another Flying Club off the Ground

Welcome to another new flying club–the Monticello Flying Club at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport in (KCHO) Virginia! The non–profit 501(c)7 club incorporated on April 22, 2013. It has several people already committed to be members and is seeking more prior to starting to fly in June. The club was founded to create an opportunity for local pilots to come together and fly, as well as share their enthusiasm and interest in aviation by attending social events.

The club has Regular Members who have paid more to be able to fly the aircraft, and has an Associate Member level for family and social members. A goal is to limit Regular Membership to a number that results in around 200 hours per year on each aircraft and never more than 100 regular members. The club has negotiated discounted rental rates for a C–172 and a Piper Arrow from a local flight school and is negotiating a lease on a 180-hp aircraft. Cookouts are scheduled the first Saturday of each month from 11:00am-1:00pm outside of the Charlottesville Flight Center at the airport.

To learn more about Monticello Flyers click here.

126 Groups Apply for Flying Club Scholarship
General Aviation News, May 3, 2013

Club Hosts Wings and Wheels Event with incentives for new members
Lodi [California] News-Sentinel, May 3, 2013

Upcoming Webinar
Attracting Young People into Aviation

Joining AOPA’s Adam Smith will be Glen Marsh, founder of the Candler Field Flying Club of Williamson, Georgia. CFFC has placed special emphasis on young people and a high proportion of their membership is under the age of 20. Webinar attendees will learn the secrets to CFFC’s success, and there will also be discussion of what other flying clubs are doing to attract a new generation of pilots. The free webinar will be May 21 at 8:30 PM E.S.T.

Click Here to Register

  Tips from the April Webinar

In case you missed the April Webinar, From Surviving To Thriving; A Guide to Effective Club Leadership, you can listen to it by clicking here.. Here are some of the tips Marc Epner, President of Leading Edge Flying Club, shared that will help keep your club operating at its peak through effective leadership:

1. Understand Leadership v. Management.

  • Leaders are active, involved, learning and listening. They take organizations to new places or the same place in new ways. Leaders have to be committed to the goals of the club. They challenge.
  • Management preserves the status quo and doesn’t go outside of its comfort zone, they are complacent.

2. Officers and Board of Directors—have Diversity.

  • Not just gender or race, but diversity of backgrounds and the way people think.
  • It will produce higher performance and a more effective board

3. Succession Plan.

  • Where’s the next leadership team going to come from?
  • It’s important to build a pipeline of new leaders
  • Make sure they are the right person–do they have the time, as well as the skills and demeanor to do the job?
  • Organizations can go downhill quickly without a successful transition
  • Ultimate sign of a great leader is to make sure the organization continues when they are gone

4. Culture is key to achieving goals. The club is about:

  • Inspiration
  • Pride
  • Empowerment
  • Passion
  • Attitude is contagious–good or bad. Focus on the positive
  • Integrity–set expectations
  • Execution–goals must translate into action
  • Be Yourself

Avoiding VFR into IMC

Getting caught off guard flying VFR into IMC is one of the deadliest mistakes a pilot can make. The Air Safety Institute’s VFR into IMC syllabus is an easy to teach lesson plan, providing a ready to deliver safety seminar for your flying club. It teaches pilots how to recognize and understand conditions that can lead to inadvertent VFR flight into IMC, and how to safely escape IMC should visual references be lost.

Have technical questions about Flying Clubs?
Click here to contact the Pilot Information Center.

Have any other questions?
Click here to contact Member Services.

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