When forming a flying club, there are a few members that you will want from the outset, each bringing a particular knowledge base and skill set. Among those key members are a Certificated Flight Instructor, an A&P or someone with a mechanical background, and someone who has owned an airplane.
Many clubs start because an aircraft owner is looking to share the expense of having an airplane. Often, this owner will become a founding club member and retain a share of his airplane as a member. Alternatively, an aircraft owner could choose to lease his aircraft to the club.
Having a seasoned aircraft owner or former owner may prove useful to a club just starting out. Experience with aircraft care, insurance, and maintenance give aircraft owners a wealth of knowledge, and they often prove to be good role models. These members generally have a solid understanding of what costs to expect and can be helpful in future planning.
Aircraft owners tend to treat the aircraft and other equipment well—they know how much things cost and the value of keeping the airplane clean and in good shape. By choosing an aircraft owner as a founding member, you can help establish a club culture that demands respect for the aircraft.
Pilots who have previously owned aircraft are generally the easiest members to find. They are usually seeking a club to save money compared to the cost of individual ownership without major scheduling limitations. Clubs with a variety of aircraft also can be appealing to aircraft owners who are looking for access to different types of aircraft at reduced cost.