Whether you began your adventure in aviation in a flying club, you came to belong to one years later, or you’re just finding out about them now, there is no doubt that flying clubs can maximize your enjoyment of general aviation, while substantially cutting your costs.
The simple fact of the matter is this—flying clubs allow the cost of owning, maintaining, storing, and operating an aircraft to be spread equally among many people. That economy of scale allows flying club members to have access to an aircraft, or multiple aircraft, less expensively than they would be able to purchase and operate them individually.
An additional benefit of flying clubs is the built-in support group that comes with membership. The individuals who make up a flying club come from all walks of life and exhibit varying levels of experience in aviation—from students to airline pilots, ex-military pilots to high time general aviation flight instructors, as well as people of all ages. They can provide you with a social network that informs your flying decisions, allows for truly enjoyable social gatherings, and often gives you the opportunity to interact with an experienced, rated pilot who may sit in the other seat and share the cost of a flight.
The oldest clubs in the United States were founded well before World War II. Flying clubs have introduced thousands of people to the fun and camaraderie of general aviation. As the industry seeks to reverse rising costs and diminishing pilot numbers, flying clubs are not just one solution; they are arguably the best solution to many of the challenges individuals face in general aviation. Flying clubs provide exceptional value to the individual, as they offer affordability, community, and a viable entry (or re-entry) point to general aviation. Also, members may use club aircraft for individual flight training, including primary training, if the club bylaws allow it.Next Section: Getting Started