Taking a “Bigger” Look at Flying Clubs
From our annual flying club survey data, we know that a typical flying club has around 15 members and one or two aircraft. Many clubs are smaller—say, five members—whereas others may have 60, 70 or even more members, and several (in some cases, tens of) aircraft. This month, we’ll take a look at “bigger clubs.” By necessity, these clubs have to scale their operations to function effectively and efficiently. This impacts many areas, including membership management, social events, billing and aircraft operations & maintenance. We hope that this edition might inspire some clubs to think about expansion and growth, and bring the experience that is “clubbing” to even more people.
New Manager of the Flying Clubs Initiative
The Flying Clubs team is pleased to welcome Drew Myers to the team as the new Manager of the Flying Clubs initiative. Drew is a private pilot and is working on his instrument rating. He is also Safety Officer at the Freestate Flying Club, based in College Park, MD. Drew reports to Steve Bateman, Director of the Flying Clubs Initiative, and will be helping start new flying clubs, assisting in the growth of existing clubs, and presenting seminars, workshops and attending other events in the furtherance of the cause. As always, you can contact Steve and Drew by at: [email protected]
The AOPA Flying Club Network
The AOPA Flying Club Finder lists some 1,490 flying clubs nationwide, of which about 700 are AOPA Network Clubs. Being a member of the network means that AOPA recognizes your high levels of operational excellence and adherence to AOPA Values and Best Practices. This can be important when prospective members are searching for a “good” club to join. We also have plans to increase the benefits of network membership, so watch for more information in future Club Connector editions.
You can verify if your club is a network member by using the Flying Club Finder. Enter the name of your club and zoom in to your club. If your club has an yellow icon, it is a network member.
To request membership in the network, please read and understand the Flying Club Values and Best Practices section that can be found in Chapter two of the Guide to Starting A Flying Club, and then complete and submit the Join the Network form.
Annual Flying Club Survey
If you ever wondered where AOPA gets information to set strategic direction, the answer is from member surveys. With more than 300,000 members, it is difficult to ask everyone for individual thoughts and opinions; however, with such a large population base, we can have a high degree of confidence in data gleaned from surveys. The Flying Clubs team is no different, and so we ask for your participation in our upcoming Annual Flying Clubs Survey that will be emailed in mid-November. The survey will be delivered to one person in every club in the Flying Club Network—either to the contact listed in the Flying Club Finder or the club’s administrator who has privileges to edit the club’s data in the finder. To be sure that you receive the survey, please take a minute to ensure that your club information is correct. We described how to do this in last month’s News from Headquarters. Your feedback is very important to us as it will be used to shape the direction of the Flying Clubs Initiative. Thank you, in advance, for your participation.
Flying Club Workshops
You might have heard about the AOPA Flying Clubs Workshops that we have been holding around the country. The workshops bring together clubs of different ages and sizes for guided discussions on topics such as managing and growing your club, strategic planning, operational best practices, budgeting, and much more. We’ll be running more events this year in Austin, TX, Vero Beach, FL, and Dallas, TX. If you live near these areas and are interested in hearing more, please send us an email so we can add you to the list. To ensure good interaction and enough time to get into details, we have to restrict the number people attending, so please respond quickly as seats for these events fill up quickly.