Flying Club Connector Newsletter: November 2013



News from Headquarters

There is nothing as certain as change

Over the past few weeks, I’ve talked with many of our AOPA flying club network clubs that had heard the news of the restructuring at AOPA as your association refocuses its efforts.

For those of you who haven’t heard, among the changes was the restructuring of our Center to Advance the Pilot Community. Although the change affected several of the department staff, I can assure you that our dedication to the flying club and flight school initiatives are alive and well and will continue to be a high priority for AOPA. I started the flying club initiative more than two years ago and am very pleased with the growth of the flying club network and our progress to provide services, resources, and guidance to both existing and developing clubs.

As we reorganize our internal resources please feel free to contact me with your concerns, questions, or curiosities. [email protected] or 301-695-2133.

Blue skies,

Club Insurance, simplified

Supporting flying clubs is an important part of AOPA's mission to keep aviation accessible and affordable for more pilots. Working closely with AOPA’s experts in the Pilot Information Center, AOPA Insurance Services has created an insurance plan that makes it easy to manage your club’s insurance needs no matter how many aircraft or members are involved.

Question of the month

For those clubs that have a web site, are you seeing much benefit in having a site to help recruit new members?

This “Question of the Month” was submitted on the AOPA flying clubs Facebook Group on October 17 by Landon Lewis of Springfield, MO. The responses included practical advice about the benefit of a web page, as well as other marketing and recruiting techniques that other clubs have used.

Monthly Poll

Do you think your club will be around in 25 years?

  YES   NO  

In September we asked if your club has a daily minimum rate when members take a trip. 55 percent of clubs have don’t have daily minimums, while 45 percent do.


Flying Club Spotlight

Three Times the Fun in Arkansas

The Sparrow Flying Club in Arkansas is a for-profit flying club that operates nine aircraft from three different airports. Club President David Jones discusses how the club has grown to 70 members in just five years and how it offers aircraft owners a way to share the costs with a broader community and have their airplanes fly more.

Event Spotlight

Special Delivery from the NASA Goddard Flying Club

Each year since 1989 members of the NASA Goddard Flying Club have held a donation drive at the space flight center in Greenbelt, Maryland and held an airlift, flying the clothes, toys, and food to those in need in other states. This year five airplanes flew to Reading, Pennsylvania to deliver the donations to the Hope Rescue Mission. An added bonus was a tour of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum and lunch at the airport restaurant.


Tips from the October Webinar

In case you missed the October Webinar, Operating Rules for Flying Clubs, here are some of the tips David St. George, Manager and Chief Instructor with the award-winning East Hill Flying Club in Ithaca, NY shared on the process and importance of creating an outstanding set of operating rules for your club. You can listen to a replay by clicking here.

  1. The intended result is a maximum amount of member enjoyment and economic flourishing!

  2. A clear set of rules that promote safety often leads to lower insurance premiums.

  3. There are two primary areas that require rules: administrative procedures regarding the club structure and aircraft utilization, and safety policies.

  4. All club rules start with FAA regulations, FARs are just the regulatory minimums.

  5. It’s important to educate and disseminate the rules so people know what to do and how to do things properly.

  6. Create online or video training to show new members a working knowledge of how to use the airplane.

  7. Rules are particular to each club and it’s unique circumstances.

  8. Create dynamic rules that address situations as they arise and review rules that might not be needed.

  9. A safety management system can catch an “oops” before it’s a “crunch”.

In the News
Moccasin Flying Club Hosts Concert on Ramp at Chattanooga’s Lovell Field
The Chattanoogan, October 8, 2013
Club Offers Rides, Attracts New Members at Annual Airport Day Celebration
The Port Lincoln Times, October 10, 2013
South Carolina Breakfast Club Celebrates 75th Anniversary
The Times and Democrat, October 12, 2013
County Aviation Board Considering Creation of Flying Club
Dubois County [Indiana] Free Press, October 15, 2013
Australian Club Hosts Aviation Day
Camden Haven Courier, October 17, 2013
Ultralight Flying Club in Australia Defends Safety Record
The Daily Advertiser, October 17, 2013
Vintage Planes Fly-In Celebrates Cambridge Valley Flying Club’s 50th Anniversary
The [Glens Falls, NY] Post-Star, October 19, 2013
AOPA Extends Insurance Offerings to Flying Clubs
Aviation International News, October 24, 2013
British Web Site Adds Airfield Locator with Flying Club
Digital Journal, November 2, 2013
Club in Spain Institutes New Safety Measures
Euro Weekly News, November 4, 2013
Fatal Crash in 2011 leads Club to create Mountain-Flying training requirements
The Vancouver Sun, November 6, 2013
Iowa State University Flying Club featured in article about Non-Academic Clubs
Iowa State Daily, November 6, 2013

ASI’s Introduces its First Course Optimized for iPad

The Air Safety Institute’s new course, Weather Wise: VFR into IMC, is ASI’s first course optimized for use on the iPad and designed for touchscreen use, making it easier than ever to navigate. The course features commentary by Rod Machado and AOPA Pilot’s Tom Horne and explains common weather scenarios that can trap unsuspecting pilots, and helps them understand the complexity of decision making and pilot judgment.

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

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

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
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