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News from Headquarters: AOPA submits comments on MOSAIC; de-wintering your club; oldest club in each state, 2023 survey results.

AOPA Submits Comments on MOSAIC

The much talked about MOSAIC, or Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification for the long winded, rule change is inching closer to becoming law.
  AOPA, EAA, NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association all submitted feedback on the proposal that will potentially make sweeping changes to current Light Sport rules and regulations.  The changes proposed by AOPA et al are summarized in this recent AOPA article and the specific comments can be delved into deeper here

Though the comment period is now closed, those hopeful of what’s to come should not practice breath holding or get trigger happy with a checkbook as the proposals are still an unknown way out and subject to change.

Nevertheless, the promise of MOSAIC is high for flying clubs.  For example, being able to accept sport pilots into clubs that operate aircraft that fall under the new rules will open up a new source of prospective members, and hopefully, we will see a supply of new 4-place aircraft from Europe that may operate as a "Light-Sport” or whatever the term will be, so providing clubs (and of course sole owners) much needed choice in the small aircraft market.

2024 First Quarter Events

2024 is heating up to be a bumper year for flying club events. 

Buckeye Airfare: Buckeye, AZ, February 16th-18th:

Steve and Cade will be attending the AOPA Fly-In at the Buckeye Air Fair!

Last year’s event was a spectacular success, so we are looking forward to meeting with AOPA members at Buckeye Airport (KBXK), AZ, February 16th-18th.  As well the ever-popular seminar on starting and running a flying club, new for this year is “Flying Clubs Clinic: Is Your Flying Club Running at Peak Efficiency?”.  At this interactive forum, we’ll address your questions about flying club operations, budgeting, attracting new members, growing your fleet, safety programs, reining-in escalating insurance costs… and much more. Bring your questions and share your solutions with members and leaders from other flying clubs.  The clinic will take place at 4:00 pm on Saturday February 17th, in the AOPA skills & education pavilion (tent).

More details can be found here and here.

Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show, Puyallup, WA: February 24th-25th:

This is a big and world-class conference, with multiple seminar tracks and a huge trade show area, which attracts the big names in aviation.

I (Steve) will be attending NWAC for the second year in a row and will be presenting several flying club and safety seminars, as well as a detailed presentation on the AOPA You Can Fly High School STEM program.  Tom George, the AOPA Regional Manager for Alaska, and Brad Schuster, the AOPA Northwest Mountain Regional Manager, will also be attending, so please stop by the AOPA booth and say hello.

More information about the show can be found here.

Montana Aviation Conference, Butte, MT: February 29th-March 2nd

The annual Montana Aviation Conference brings together all of Montana's aviation organizations and the flying public for three days of speakers, seminars, workshops, business meetings, and social events. This will be the first year that I’ll be at this conference and I’m very much looking forward to it.  I’ll be presenting a flying clubs seminar as well as an ASI safety seminar.  Tom George, the AOPA Regional Manager for Alaska, and Brad Schuster, the AOPA Northwest Mountain Regional Manager, will also be attending, so please stop by the AOPA booth and say hello.

More information can be found, here.

2024 Workshops:

We’re planning on holding some flying clubs workshops later in the year—definitely online, but we are hoping to hold some in-person events.  The popular in-person events bring together clubs from a given region to hear the latest information from your flying clubs team, but also to network and swap ideas.

We will talk more about this as we plan out the events, but please be advised that we will send invitations by email to the contacts listed on the AOPA Flying Club Finder page.  If your information is not up to date, you may miss out.  Please take a few minutes to check your club’s information on the Finder.  Remember that clubs are responsible for keeping their listing up to date.  If you cannot remember who your club admin is (the person who has edit access to your page), then please send an email to: [email protected]

Annual Flying Club Survey Tidbits

 

Every year for the past 6 years, the Flying Clubs Team has surveyed our Network Flying Clubs to find out more about how they operate and what challenges they are facing. We are always so grateful to the clubs that take the time to fill out these surveys.  We conclude the year with an annual sweepstakes for those that participate and this year’s winner of a Sporty’s PJ2 handheld radio was The Flying Club based at East Windsor, CT.

This year’s results showed that many of the trends we have been seeing are continuing…for better or worse.  First, let’s talk about the “for better”.  Flying Clubs flew an average of 480 hours per club which is a 4% increase from last year’s 461.  We are also seeing roughly half of flying clubs are currently at their membership limits and maintaining an active waitlist which is great news as it means the demand for flying clubs is ever increasing.  The average club had 32 members is has stayed consistent over the last couple of years and 77% of clubs owned their own aircraft.  Now for the bad…insurance premiums increased 20% which has been the norm for the last three years now.  We are continuing to tackle the issue and encourage clubs everywhere to take an active role in their culture of safety and proficiency.  Only 35% of clubs indicated that they formally discuss safety.  I encourage every club to establish a safety officer and begin a regimen of documenting why your club is a safe.  On that topic, why not try out Wings for Clubs?  More information on engaging in safe practices can be found here.  I also encourage everyone to have a listen to Steve and Drew rant about insurance in episode 49 of Flying Clubs Radio.


Oldest Club in Each State…so far

 

We’ve compiled the data we have received up to this point (keep it coming!) and have found the oldest club in 21 of the 50 states.  Have a look at the list and see if your club made it.  If so, send us an email, we’d love to have a chat about what has helped your club stay relevant and operational over the years. 

If you have an inkling that your club might be “old”, please follow this procedure. We’ll publish our findings and crown the victors in an upcoming edition:

 

Please send an email to [email protected]

Subject Line:  Oldest Club Entry

Body of email:

  1. Name of club: <Your response>
  2. State of operation: <Your response>
  3. Date of establishment: <Your response>
  4. Airport ID (three-character ID): <Your response>
  5. Your name: <Your response>
  6. Your email address (not the clubs, yours): <Your response>
  7. Your phone number (not the clubs, yours): <Your response>
  8. Been in continuous operation?: Yes or No
  9. With the same airplane: Yes or No
  10. If yes, make/model/year: <Your response>
  11. Comments:<Your response>
AOPA Medical Certificate Specialist Cade Halle poses for a photo at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland, May 4, 2022. Photo by David Tulis.

Cade Halle

Manager, Flying Clubs Initiative, AOPA
Cade is the manager of the AOPA Flying Clubs Initiative, which helps start and grow flying clubs, nationwide. Cade is a formation qualified, AOPA staff pilot as well as a FAASTeam representative.

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