The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has released a new tool that will steer members through the steps of starting a flying club. “AOPA’s Guide to Starting a Flying Club” identifies the most important aspects to consider when bringing a club from inception to full operation.
“This guide was created to provide a useful roadmap to pilots starting a club,” said Woody Cahall, leader of AOPA’s flying club initiative. “It addresses the biggest roadblocks to starting new flying clubs and it provides commonsense advice that pilots will be able to apply when launching clubs all over the country.”
Each chapter in the guide covers a specific topic of interest from how to choose the right aircraft to insurance considerations. AOPA has also assembled a collection of sample documents, forms, and other resources, such as sample operating rules and aircraft lease agreements.
Download “AOPA’s Guide to Starting a Flying Club” on AOPA’s website.
AOPA’s 2012 research on flying clubs proved the overwhelmingly positive impact clubs have on the GA community. The survey found that more than half of all active pilots are past or present members of a flying club and virtually all of them consider club membership a positive experience, according to AOPA officials.
In addition to the new starter guide, AOPA provides other resources to help strengthen existing clubs and encourage new ones:
- AOPA Flying Club Insurance Program – Several new features include the ability to “stack” non-owner policy limits. A club member who owns 20% or less of the club aircraft and has significantly greater assets than other members can buy a Non-Owner policy and have those policy limits “stack” on top of the club aircraft insurance policy limits. This allows individual flying club members to secure the higher liability protections they might individually desire or require. The program also allows for special rates for clubs between three and 10 members (with flat rates available as needed for clubs that grow beyond that level). It is also now easier for clubs with more than 10 members to get insurance, and the new program does not charge for “social members.”
- Aircraft Finance: Through its finance company, AOPA has a new program that offers up to 50% financing with no personal guaranties for established clubs and, on an exception basis, for larger start-up clubs. If a member of the flying club is able to guarantee the loan, AOPA Aviation Finance Company (AAF) has programs that provide up to 70% financing.
- Club Connector: A monthly newsletter that allows clubs to share information, resources, best practices and work together on issues of mutual concern.
- Flying Club Webinars
- AOPA Flying Club Network Facebook Page
“There are more than 600 flying clubs in the U.S. and AOPA is committed to helping grow that number,” said Cahall. “Flying clubs have introduced thousands of people to the fun and camaraderie of flying. As the general aviation industry seeks to reverse rising costs and diminishing pilot numbers, flying clubs are one important solution to keeping general aviation strong and growing.”
For more information: AOPA.org