News from HQ: Gathering Together, Gaining Insights.

AirVenture 2017 – what a spectacular event! The AOPA area was humming all week, with the only relatively quiet time being the final Sunday – but even then people visited to chat about the sweepstakes airplanes, flying clubs, and other topics.

The Flying Clubs team held two well-attended club-related events – a “Maximum Fun, Minimum Cost” seminar that attracted around 50 participants eager to hear about the nuts-and-bolts of starting a club, and the club social event. With more than 120 people in the tent, the social was swinging! Steve Bateman provided some background to the You Can Fly Initiative and presented some of the Flying Club Initiative’s successes – 20 new clubs started in 2017 against the goal of 30, and 22 club seminars given around the country. Adam Meredith was guest speaker at the event – Adam is President of the AOPA Finance team, and introduced a very exciting new program for the financing of leased aircraft. More to come on this topic in an upcoming Club Connector.

Thanks to all the club members who attended these events – and for stopping by to chat with the Flying Clubs team. It was wonderful to meet with so many club members – and to discover more about what we can do to help you start, grow, and sustain your clubs.

Thanks also to the many people who signed the “Say No to ATC Privatization” petition, and those who have written to their elected officials to help stop this.   We not out of the woods on this issue by any means.  Please keep up the pressure - contact your Representative and Senator, and talk to anyone who will listen to help them understand why this is such an important issue.

Flying Club Network Survey
As reported last month, an invitation to participate in the Flying Clubs Survey was sent in early July to all members of the Club Network. If you didn’t receive an email, please review your details in the Flying Club Finder and update them as necessary. We know that email addresses change as board members rotate, so please double check your contact email address so we can communicate with you about surveys, events, and other flying club topics.
The survey closed at the end of July – with an 18 percent response rate. Many thanks to those of you who completed the survey – it will give us valuable information regarding the status and overall health of the Club Network, and will ultimately help us identify additional ways to help our growing network. We’ll publish extracts of the survey results in future editions of Club Connector and we’ll also explain a bit more about how the data will be used to improve our resources and overall services.

Pulse Poll Results
In the July edition of Club Connector, we introduced the first “Pulse Poll” – a simple one question poll on topics related to flying clubs. The July poll asked: “How many hours per year (on average) does each club airplane fly?” – and here are the encouraging results.  

It is wonderful to see that, for these respondents at least, 81% of club planes are flying more than 100 hours per year, and 29% of club planes fly more than 300 hours per year.

You’ll find a link the August Pulse Poll in the Club Connector cover email – so please help us gather some interesting data to share by following the link. This month’s question is: “Without considering aircraft size or type, what is the average cost per hour of flight time across your fleet?”

By the way – when you follow the link and take the poll, you’ll immediately see the results at that point in time, but you can follow the link at a later time to see how the results change as more people participate.

There are lots of events and fly-ins still to come in 2017. Steve will be attending and presenting at the Norman Fly-In September 8-9, and Les Smith, Sr. Director, Pilot Community Development, will attend the Groton Fly-In on October 6-7. Also, our incredibly active and experienced AOPA Ambassadors will be at these and other events around the country, so please stop by and introduce yourselves – we are all active pilots and have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share – along with some good stories!
If you are in the Delaware and Virginia areas in early October, please join Steve at “Wings and Wheels-2017" and "Aviation Education Expo” at Georgetown (KGED), Delaware on October 6-7 and at the” Virginia Festival of Flight” at Suffolk (KSFQ), Virginia, on Saturday October 7. Please stop by and say hello if you make it to these events.
Fly lots and fly safe!

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