We have news from headquarters this month! Really. Our latest Fly In was here at our Frederick, MD home base and it was awesome! There were more than 3,000 pilots in attendance in spite of the IFR conditions in the morning. The amazing turnout is clear evidence that our members want to be involved.
Pilots came from all over to be at the Frederick Fly In. I spoke to people from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina. Woody Cahall spoke to a group of pilots at our Flying Club Seminar. Insurance representative Cher Clare was here to answer insurance questions. I was kept busy at the Flying Clubs tent meeting club members whom I had only spoken with over the phone or through emails. It is wonderful to get to meet each of you and put faces to all of your names.
Recently, our Flying Club Network exceeded 600 clubs, and with 1,150 clubs on the Flying Club Finder, the success of AOPA’s club outreach has exceeded my expectations! The most exciting part of working with clubs is how many inquiries I get from members who are interested in starting a club at their airport. Our members help make this possible. When they see our resources, and how many people are growing clubs right now, it gives people the confidence to try it themselves. That is what this effort is all about and I am grateful for the opportunity to help it grow. I am always amazed at how our members are willing to help other pilots. We have had a few college students, for example, start clubs recently. Now they are in a position to share what they have learned with other college students going down the same path. And they are up for the job!
Another great example of pilots helping pilots is our Facebook page. There is a very active group online that is always happy to share information with other pilots and clubs.
Additionally, I never have a problem finding volunteer speakers for any event! Someone is always willing to step up and pitch in. We all make a difference teaching each other and sharing our experiences. That is what the AOPA Flying Club Network is about, growing club support.
We have had a terrific year so far. There has been much support and strong growth. I hope to continue to meet our members at the regional Fly Ins as well as at other local events. Next stop, St. Simon’s Island, GA!