Flying Club Connector Newsletter: September 2013



News from Headquarters

What is a flying club – really?

One of the most common questions these days is what, exactly, is a flying club. There’s no one easy answer or definition. AOPA’s Vice President, Pilot Information Center, Woody Cahall explains the complexity by looking at IRS classifications, FAA and state definitions, and comes to a simple conclusion.



Question of the month

What currency requirements are recommended for members of a flying club?

This "Question of the Month" was submitted on the AOPA flying clubs Facebook Group on August 15 by Jonathan Bradbury, president of the Grasshopper Flying Club of Wappinger Falls, NY. Jonathan indicated the club was having a spirited debate about the pros and cons of implementing a yearly checkout with a club instructor, and wondered about the experience of other clubs.

Monthly Poll

Does your club have a Facebook Page?

  YES   NO  

In August we asked if your club has a daily minimum rate when members take a trip. Out of 77 respondents, 51 percent of clubs have daily minimums, 49 percent don’t have any minimums.


Flying Club Spotlight

81 Years of History at the Reading Aero Club in Pennsylvania

The Reading Aero Club in Pennsylvania is one of the oldest in the country. Started in 1932 with an OX-5 powered Travelair, club members flew airmail, searched for submarines off the New Jersey coast during World War II, and continue to serve the public with pilots participating in Angel Flight and charitable flight organizations—all in club aircraft. Club President Ted Hershberger talks about the club’s long history and some of the things it has done to educate the public about aviation.

Aircraft Spotlight

Adding a tailwheel to your club: The Citabria

This month we are starting a new feature—the Aircraft Spotlight. We will pick an aircraft that a flying club is operating that is outside the usual Piper Cherokee or Cessna 172, and evaluate it based on seven categories: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country Travel, and Versatility.

The East Hill Flying Club based at Tompkins County Airport (ITH) in Ithaca, New York, operates two Cessna 152s, three C-172s, a Mooney 201, a Flight Design CTLS LSA, a twin-engine Piper Seneca II, and a Citabria. President David St. George discusses the pros and cons about adding the Citabria to its fleet to offer club members a tailwheel aircraft.

Upcoming Webinar

How to build community in your flying club
Steve Blonstein, General Manager of the West Valley Flying Club, will discuss how the club keeps members engaged. The club uses unique events like the California passport program, Women of West Valley, and social events to build a vibrant club community.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
8:00 PM EDT

Click Here to Register
Tips from the August Webinar

In case you missed the August Webinar, Flying Club Marketing, here are some of the tips Steve Hedges, AOPA Director of Communications, shared on flying club marketing techniques. You can listen to a replay by clicking here..
  • Create a logo
  • Give your aircraft a call sign
  • Put up a club sign at the airport
  • Having a web site is critical
  • Post information on Barnstormers, Craigs List, airport notice boards
  • Make business cards to pass out

Pilot Community Summit

Save the Date!
What: AOPA Flight Training and Pilot Community Summit

Who: Flight Training Professionals, Flying Club Leaders, Industry Representatives and Aviation Innovators

When: October 9, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (the day before AOPA Aviation Summit)

Where: Ft.Worth Convention Center


  • Hear the latest from the Center to Advance the Pilot Community
  • Be the first to see results from our new study on lapsed pilots
  • Learn from innovators inside and outside the aviation industry
  • Celebrate the winners of the 2013 Flight Training Excellence Awards


Click Here to Register
In the News
Indiana club turns its 152 into a new character for the movie Planes
StaceyPageOnline, August 8, 2013
Ithaca club’s flight training featured in the local paper
Ithaca Journal, August 23, 2013
Chief Minister in India wants flying club revived in the next few months
The Times of India, August 25, 2013
Assam Tribune, August 25, 2013
Cayman Islands flying club offers islanders affordable flying opportunities
The Cayman Compass, August 30, 2013
Georgia county denies flying club permit to operate on a private airstrip
The (Cowetta, GA) Citizen, August 30, 2013
Hangar flying at the bottom of the world—the McCurdo (Antacrtica) Flying Club
The Antarctic Sun, September 7, 2013
Safety in a Social Media World

The Air Safety Institute (ASI) is taking its message to YouTube, Facebook and even creating a few rhymes in a new PSA about vacation flying. Check out the creative ways ASI is using social media to make flying safer.

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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