In November 2017, the AOPA You Can Fly team presented a Rusty Pilots and Flying Clubs event in Texas. In attendance was Bryan Jakubik, a pilot flying from Mid-Way Regional Airport near Midlothian. He and Allen Story contacted Pat Brown, AOPA’s ambassador to Texas, who helped the pair and another pilot, Thierry St. Loup, develop bylaws for a flying club. St. Loup identified a Cessna Cardinal on the field and purchased it to lease back to the fledgling club. In January 2019, Brown once again returned to Mid-Way for another AOPA event and was thrilled to discover the Midway Flying Club was operational, with seven members and an aircraft—and the one-hundredth club formed since the You Can Fly initiative began.
AOPA President Mark Baker and Steve Bateman, director of AOPA’s Flying Clubs Initiative, recognized the club during the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In AOPA Pilot Town Hall. A plaque was presented to the club with this inscription: “In appreciation of your role in growing and supporting general aviation.” The club was also celebrated at a You Can Fly social event later in the week.
The goal of the You Can Fly Flying Clubs initiative is to create a more connected general aviation community and encourage pilots to stay active and engaged in GA by increasing the number of flying clubs and increasing membership and participation in existing clubs. The Flying Clubs team presents its “Maximum Fun/Minimum Cost” seminars throughout the country to promote flying clubs.