News from HQ: ADS-B, club contact information, social events, and new clubs

ADS-B – The Countdown Begins

When this edition of Club Connector is published, we will be less than 23 months away from the ADS-B mandate becoming law.  As you must know by now, that means you will not be able to fly in “transponder airspace” without having at least ADS-B OUT capability.  A couple of us here on the Flying Clubs staff have been - or are - going through the decision process with our flying clubs.  In some cases, such as a club based here at Frederick, MD (KFDK), the decision is easy – if we want to stay flying we must equip due to the proximity of multiple instances of Class-Bravo airspace, and the Washington SFRA. 

In other cases, the decision might be financial rather than operational.  This month’s Question of the Month takes a look at two decisions that must be made:  to do it or not, and how to pay for it.  A third is, of course, the actual choice of equipment.  Without giving too much away, Steve Bateman, Director of the AOPA Flying Clubs Initiative makes a case for equipping not only to meet the mandate, but also so that club members get something out of the deal.  Steve’s point is that clubs should not think of ADS-B as an expense, but as an investment in their futures.

Staying with the ADS-B theme, in the Club Spotlight we hear the story of two flying clubs – one that has equipped and another that is in the process – and what they went through to decide whether to do it, how to pay for it, and what product best suited their needs.

We also stitch ADS-B into this month’s Safety article from ASI.  In the context of transition training, we note that transitions happen not just between actual aircraft, but also when we change something in one airplane – something like adding a new ADS-B device and the new distractions that can result.

Finally, we seek your input in this month’s Pulse Poll – we would like to know if your club has already equipped with ADS-B or is planning to do so.

Club Contact Information

As we mentioned last month, we are doing a clean-up of information in the Club Finder.  The project is progressing well, and we are now at the point of contacting every club in the AOPA Flying Club Network to double check the information.  You might get a call from Francesca, who will ask a few questions to ensure that your club data is correct – so that prospective members can find you.  Also, we’d be grateful if you would review your data in the Club Finder on a regular basis – perhaps make it an action from your Annual General Meeting, or make it one of the responsibilities for a particular club officer.

2018 Shows and Fly-ins

We can almost feel the warmer weather coming and can positively see the days getting longer as we head into spring and summer.  AOPA has some amazing fly-in events planned for the year – don’t forget to put them on your calendar.   These are wonderful opportunities for club members to fly together to take part in events with the broader aviation community.  Please let us know if you will be attending any of these fly-ins, as we’d love to arrange to meet-up and chat about flying clubs.

There will also be flying club social events at both Sun ‘N Fun and AirVenture – on Friday, April 13 and Friday, July 27, respectively, starting at 5:30 pm in the AOPA area.  Please keep a look out for invitations and more information – we’d love to see you at either or both events!

2018 AOPA Flight Training Scholarships

In 2018, AOPA is offering three tiers of scholarships to help towards the cost of initial and advanced pilot training – all the way up to CFI!    Whilst one tier applies only to teens 15-18 years old, the second is open to ages 16 and up, and the third, 18 and older. 

If you know of young people with the desire to learn to fly – or if you have a club member wanting to pursue an aviation career, please let them know about these wonderful scholarship opportunities.  Full details, including eligibility and application instructions, can be found on the AOPA Scholarship webpage.

Things to keep in mind

Andy Miller, AOPA Ambassador for the Great Lakes Region, reminds us of a couple of “gotchas” that may pop-up at this time of year:

  • Daylight Savings Time starts March 11 for most places in the US.  Make sure that someone from the Club checks to see that your flight scheduling software updates reservations correctly.  Most web-based tools do this automatically, but best to make sure. Also make sure someone changes clocks in the hangar and in the club's airplane(s).  Daylight time changes are good times to routinely change important batteries, such as smoke detectors, CO detectors, emergency flashlights, etc. 
  • Make sure you don’t lose your legal status if you are incorporated or have an LLC.  Some states also require refreshing of legal status.  If you are a tax-exempt organization, make sure that you file the required reports and returns in order to maintain your status.  We heard recently of a club whose new Treasurer didn’t understanding the filing rules, and they lost their tax-exempt status.  Here is an interesting article on this topic from the AOPA legal team.

New year, new clubs

If you read the last edition of Club Connector, you may recall that we have set some ambitious goals for 2018, not least helping to start 35 new clubs, countrywide. 

We are off to a good start!  To date (2/7/2018), we welcome 5 new clubs to the AOPA Flying Clubs Network family.  Here are their details and links to their websites and/or Facebook pages, and their AOPA Flying Club Network webpage:

Temple Aero Club

 KTPL, Temple, TX


Three Two Five Echo Flying Club

KADS, Addison, TX


Central Coast Aero Club

KLPC, Lompoc, CA


Sopwith Camel Flying Club

KSLC, Salt Lake City, UT


Ozark Aviators, Inc.

1H5, Willow Springs, MO


We hope you enjoy this edition of club Connector and, as always, feel fee to tell us what you think and what you would like to see, by emailing us at:  [email protected]

Fly lots, and fly safe!

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