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Want to Start a Flying Club at Your Airport?

By Cory Puuri, Membership Development Manager, EAA

December 2015 - If you blinked, you probably missed the brief article we ran in e-Hotline back in August of 2014 introducing EAA’s Flying Club Manual: Establishing a Non-Profit Flying Club.

But we hope you read about and/or participated in the Give Flight build at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, where over 2,000 people helped build five sets of aircraft wings to be donated to EAA chapters. Chapters that received a set of wings agreed to complete and deploy the aircraft to launch an independent flying club.

For some EAA chapters, these two initiatives raised some eyebrows; it was always EAA’s stance that EAA chapters were prohibited by their charter from operating a flying club.

So what’s new? EAA believes flying clubs are one of the best ways to learn to fly and are a critical element to reducing the cost of flying for all members. Also flying clubs can help to increase and extend an individual’s flying activity. As a result, we’re taking steps to help collect and develop resources to help EAA chapters form independent flying clubs.

The key word is “independent.” EAA investigated a model in which flying clubs could be organized under EAA chapters, but the insurance costs would have been prohibitive.

A more cost-effective model for flying club creation is to establish the flying club as an independent, nonprofit entity. And while such entities could not be organized as an EAA flying club, they can be organized by EAA members, co-located in an EAA chapter hangar, include EAA chapter members, and even use aircraft built or restored by an EAA chapter! All across the nation airplanes are being built and restored and flying clubs are being set up. We have seen flying clubs start up with everything from Pietenpols to Champs to Cessna 182s.

Over the next few years, you’re going to see the following developments to resource and support flying clubs:

  • EAA Flying Club Resource Center
  • Recent educational webinars you can review:
  • Articles and publications
  • Exclusive discounts on aviation products and services

If you have other ideas on how EAA can help you in the formation or development of a flying club, I invite you to send me an e-mail.
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