News from Headquarters: A new team member; Q1 events; financing your next aircraft; oldest club update.

New Team Member:

I’m really pleased to welcome Cade Halle to the flying clubs team! 

Cade joined AOPA in early 2022 as a medical certification specialist, where he provided expert guidance to AOPA members navigating the federal regulatory airman medical certification process. 

Prior to joining AOPA, Cade was a critical care flight paramedic for a Level 1 trauma center on EC-135 helicopters.  After that, he was a police officer in Charleston, SC, where he was a member of the underwater recovery team—he maintains his paramedic license, so is a very handy person to have on the team!

Cade holds an SEL private pilot certificate and is a formation-qualified AOPA staff pilot, which means he helps other AOPA colleagues with air-to-air photo missions, and the like.

Cade is a native Texan, where he earnt a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from Angelo State University. Cade now lives in Frederick, Maryland.

Did I say that I’m really pleased to have Cade onboard?  Well, I am!

You can find Cade’s contact information, here.

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]

Oldest Club in The Nation

The competition is heating up nicely!  We now have information from 40 clubs. There are around 1,000 established clubs in the Finder, so we have quite a way to go just yet! 

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>

Is Your Flying Club in Good Standing?

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… Oh, wait, it’s a new year!

This is the time of year when clubs hold their Annual General Meetings and elect new officers.  It is also the time of year that new club presidents call us and ask: “What do I do, exactly?”

Feel free to call us, but also take a look at these resources:

Question of the Month: What are Board and Officer Positions—and What Do They Do?

Question of the Month: What Does “Good Housekeeping” Mean to Flying Clubs?

If your club elected a new Treasurer, then please do have them call us.  This is the time of year when clubs must file all sorts of reports and returns and you do not want to get this wrong.

Have a read of this article to better understand how a club needs to ensure that it remains in good standing with the state and IRS…yes, that IRS…

Question of the Month: What does “being in good standing” mean for flying clubs?

Heads up:  Pretty much every club must file a new form this year.

I’ve been writing about this just about a year, so rather than regurgitate, please see the details towards the end of last month’s News From HQ for the latest information.

Stephen Bateman
Contributor, You Can Fly Program
Steve retired from AOPA in April 2024, but continues to contribute to You Can Fly programs. Contact Steve at [email protected]

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