Flying Club Connector Newsletter: October 2013



News from Headquarters

Flying Clubs: Old and New

In the 1920s and ‘30s there was a big push to promote flying clubs and several of those clubs are still operating today. AOPA’s Senior Vice President, Center to Advance the Pilot Community Adam Smith takes a look at how flying clubs have served as a social community that encourages participation in aviation and how AOPA’s Flying Club Initiative is sharing best practices among the 650 existing clubs in the U.S. and aims to get another 350 started by 2017.



Question of the month

What drives the cost of aircraft insurance for a club?

Insurance premiums are often the largest single expense item in a flying club’s annual budget. Understanding what an insurer looks at and how it may affect your club’s rates is good to know when shopping for a policy. Here’s a list of 10 different factors that influence how rates are calculated.

Flying Club Spotlight

Operating Affordable Aircraft, and the Airport, in Upstate NY

The Cambridge Valley Flying Club is like few other clubs in the country. It not only operates two aircraft–a 172 and an Aeronca Champ–but it also runs the airport, Chapin Field (1B8) in Cambridge, New York. With low monthly dues and inexpensive hourly rates, as well as a community that maintains the grass runways, you may think you’ve landed in back in time. Club President Andrew Sparta and Treasurer Jim Sharkey share how the club is structured and explains the difference between field members and club members in this month’s Club Spotlight.

Aircraft Spotlight

Sexy, Sleek, and Modern: The Diamond DA–40

The Capitol City Flyers based at Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) in Madison, Wisconsin, were looking to add something fast, modern, and good looking to compliment its Piper Archer and Cessna 182. The choice was the Diamond DA–40.

Upcoming Webinar

Operating Rules for Flying Clubs
At the heart of every successful flying club lies a good set of operating rules for its members. They will usually document the club's rules for aircraft scheduling, requirements for member currency and proficiency, and how to handle situations like fueling, bad weather and unplanned maintenance events. This webinar will be presented by David St. George, Manager and Chief Instructor with the award-winning East Hill Flying Club in Ithaca, NY. Whether a new club just getting started, or a mature club looking to improve, David aims to guide you through the process of creating an outstanding set of operating rules for your club.

Thursday, October 24, 2013
8:00 PM EDT

Click Here to Register
Tips from the September Webinar

In case you missed the September Webinar, How to build community in your flying club, here are some of the tips on how to keep members engaged presented by Steve Blonstein, General Manager, and Ashley Porath, Operations Manager, of the West Valley Flying Club, one of the largest flying clubs in the nation. While not all clubs will be able to do everything suggested, there are a wide range of ideas you can explore. You can listen to a replay by clicking here..
  • Host ongoing events like BBQs, safety seminars and ground school
  • Interact with your mechanic
  • Include the family with events like airport day, a coloring book about the flying club, host birthday parties, or get a club mascot (an airport cat or dog that everybody comes by to see)
  • Education programs like summer camp, aviation clubs, explorer posts or Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities
  • Programs to keep people flying
    • Club Rewards Program – points for flying, attending events, or accomplishments like check rides or new certificates and redeem points for prizes like $100 gift certificate. They use Five Star Rewards to manage the program, a company that works with all kinds of businesses.
    • CA Passport Program – As pilots visit airports around the state they collect stamps to earn prizes
  • Outreach to the community
    • Have a booth at aviation and non-aviation events
    • Participate in charitable silent auctions through demo flight donations
    • Holiday gift giving through Local Family Giving Tree or Toys for Tots

In the News

Flying Club at Lawrence-Livermore Lab Offers Variety of Aircraft and Memberships
By Benét Wilson

Employees at Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratory in California have a flying club with more than 100 members. Founded in the 1950s, the Flying Particles offer seven different types of memberships and use a reservation fee system for booking airplanes.

Three New Flying Clubs Form in Arkansas
Arkansas Democrat–Gazette (subscription required), September 17, 2013
First Kashmiri Woman Earns Pilot’s License through Bombay Flying Club
India Today, September 20, 2013
New Flying Club Founded in Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Daily Tribune, September 27, 2013
Cambridge Valley Flying Club Hosts Fly-In and Aviation Day
Vermont News, October 1, 2013
Wichita State University Flying Club Purchases its first Aircraft
Wichita State University Sunflower, October 3, 2013

ASI Now Offers Downloadable Safety Presentations

Chances are, you’ve participated in one of the Air Safety Institute’s free safety education programs–either online or at an in-person seminar. With more than 1,000,000 contacts into the pilot community each year, the Air Safety Institute has tremendous reach. But, we can’t possibly get to every city. Our in-person seminars are presented in 100 cities nationwide, based on the locations with the largest pilot population. If you don’t live near one of those cities here’s your chance to present safety education to your flying club–and we’ve already created the content for you!

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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