Frequently Asked Questions

Why join a flying club?

Ok, you just filled a lifelong dream of getting your private pilot license.   Now, you need a plane to fly.   You could always buy one.   But aircraft ownership can be expensive – planes aren’t cheap, and there are a lot of operational expenses – hanger rental, aircraft maintenance costs, engine overhaul costs, insurance, etc.    You could also rent a plane.   But aircraft rental can also be expensive – FBOs and flight schools usually embed business operations costs and flight school overhead into their aircraft rental fees, leading to higher rental fees.

So, what if you could co-own an aircraft with several other pilots (that have the same aviation desires as you do), and SHARE the costs of ownership.   Hence, the foundation of Flying Clubs - A Flying Club is an organized group of pilots who come together in a cooperative effort to own and fly airplanes.  

Once you are checked out and signed off on our aircraft, you simply log into the scheduling website, reserve the aircraft for any available timeframe, head to the hanger, grab the plane, and go flying.   Our club takes pride in maintaining its aircraft and keeping them as clean as possible, as these are OUR aircraft, not rentals.

What type of club is it?

There are many types of flying clubs – equity, non-equity, mega, etc.   We are an equity flying club.   In an equity flying club, we “buy-in” to the club, and become an equal stakeholder (i.e. Partner) in the club, and collectively own a share of all assets of the club (i.e. aircraft, hanger, etc.) and share the costs of aircraft ownership.   The partners pay both monthly dues, which cover fixed expenses (hanger, insurance, etc.), and an hourly rate for use of the aircraft in the club.

The club is also managed by an elected Board of Directors, responsible for managing and enforcing the Club By-Laws, and Club Rules and Regulations.

What is the main purpose of the club – flying, training, social?

The goal and philosophy of the Club is to fly great planes inexpensively.   That said, we still have all-member meetings, several plane wash events over the year (some of which are required attendance), safety seminar events (some of which are required attendance), and even monthly lunch events.

What are the demographics of the current partners?

In looking at flight hours for 2015, 55% of the partners are active flyers, 40% infrequent flyers, and 5% inactive flyers.

How are aircraft scheduled, and how often are they available?

Our club owns 3 aircraft, and are scheduled via a popular online scheduling system (www.aircraftclubs.com).   Availability of the aircraft varies over the year, with the summer and fall months being the busiest.   The three aircraft accumulated 776 total flight hours in 2015, and ranged anywhere from 170 to 337 flight hours per year per aircraft.

How much does it cost?

There is an initial buy-in cost for joining the club.   This buy-in represents your equity share into the club.   This share is saleable upon leaving the club.

There is a monthly fee of $155, which covers fixed club expenses.

At the end of each month, each partner receives a bill for flight time accumulated in that month.   Flight time is based upon “tach” time, and encompasses both the hourly dry rate of the aircraft and fuel charges for fuel used.    Fuel rates vary each month, as the price of fuel varies.

How is the flight time calculated if I reserve an aircraft for the entire weekend, or for a week trip?

As mentioned above, flight time is based upon “tach” time of the engine.   In other words, the member is only charged while the plane is flying… not for the time that the aircraft is “reserved”.    However, to ensure members do not abuse the scheduling of aircraft, we do maintain a set of rules which ensure fair use of the aircraft.  For example, 2 hr per day minimum when aircraft scheduled for the entire weekend or holidays…   Board approval is an aircraft is scheduled for a trip exceeding 14 days… etc.

Who does the maintenance on the aircraft?

Maintenance is performed by an FAA certified A&P mechanic, who is also one of our club members.   This again allows us to keep costs down.   The Club also utilizes many of the proven aircraft service centers around the TwinCities area for specialized maintenance.

What does it take to get “checked out” in the aircraft?

Before a member can use any of our aircraft, he or she must be “checked out” in the aircraft by one of our CFI’s.   This encompasses both ground discussions as well as flight practical activities.    Additionally, each aircraft has pilot currency requirements to ensure safe flight, as well as meet the requirements of the insurance company.

What insurance does the club have?

Club members are all named-insured by virtue of being equal partners in the Club.   This means that the insurance company stands behind each of us in defense and payment of damage claims.  Additionally, the insurance company has no right of subrogation against the members for damage recovery.

In the event of a claim, the member incurring the damage is responsible for the deductible ($1000).

How can I join the Flying club?

email us or call us at 612-584-1740 for more information, or to join our group.

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