Flying club


Flying club

A flying club or aero club is an organisation that allows its members to pursue flying activities, usually by renting aircraft to them. Many clubs also provide flight training, flight planning facilities, pilot supplies and associated services, as well as organizing social functions, fly-ins and fly-outs to other airports and so forth. While flying clubs are home to those who pursue flying as a hobby, many commercial pilots also get their start at flying clubs.

Most flying clubs own and rent small general aviation aircraft. In North America and Europe the most popular such aircraft are the Cessna 152, the Cessna 172, and the Piper Cherokee. However some clubs also exist to provide access to more specialized aircraft, such as vintage planes, aerobatic planes or helicopters. There are also clubs devoted to flying gliders. Another category of specialized flying clubs are Aircraft Type Clubs which are devoted to providing information and support to one type or family of aircraft.

Flying clubs are usually located at smaller airports in suburban or rural areas, away from the traffic of the world's major hubs. In Canada, however, the clubs can be fairly large non-profit operations, some dating back to the 1920s and operating at large airports as well as small. Canadian flying clubs often serve as fixed-base operators at their airports as well as flight schools and aircraft renters.

There are two types of flying clubs - equity flying clubs, and non-equity flying clubs. In an equity flying club, each member of the flying club "buys in" to the club and owns a share of all the club's aircraft. The member then pays both monthly dues, which cover the fixed costs of ownership (hangar, insurance, annual maintenance, etc.), and an hourly rate for his use the airplanes in the club. In a non-equity flying club, the members do not own a share of the aircraft. Members may still pay an initiation fee (usually much smaller than an equity flying club), a monthly fee to help cover the fixed costs, and an hourly rate to use the aircraft.

ee also

* for a list of flying clubs with Wikipedia articles.

References

*"Flying School pilots take off for greener pastures", Manju V/TNN, Times of India, pg 2, 2005-06-13
*City stats, ToI, 2005-06-13
* [http://www.aopa.org/members/pic/ac/flyingclubs/ AOPA's Pilot Information Center: Flying Clubs]


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