A flying club with something special

April 19, 2011 by Craig Fuller

Some 300 members of Plus One Flyers came out to Rally GA in San Diego.

Last night I had the chance to talk to some 300 pilots—mainly members of a 26-year-old flying club called Plus One Flyers based in San Diego. It’s always good to be back flying in Southern California, since that’s where my own aviation journey began.

Plus One Flyers is quite a remarkable group. They have more than 900 members, including more than 100 flight instructors and numerous “seasonal” members from abroad who spend their vacations in the United States enjoying the freedom to fly that is uniquely ours.

They’ve created a model that makes dues affordable, a variety of aircraft and training available, keeps insurance costs low, and more. And here’s the great part—they want to share it. Talk about a great way to Rally GA!

During my visit, we talked about the big issues that matter most to AOPA members everywhere—advocacy, communication, and safety. We also talked about the importance of growing the pilot population, as well as AOPA’s efforts on that front and the value of groups like Plus One Flyers who do so much to make flying practical, affordable, and enjoyable for club members.

My host, Plus One Flyers President Scott Kurowski, is an avid pilot (and gracious host) who wants more flying clubs to experience the same success Plus One Flyers enjoys. He’s happy to talk about the club’s model, and I would encourage any club that’s looking to start, expand, or build on its current success to consider taking advantage of his expertise. Be sure to visit their web site .

Meeting with groups like this one is rejuvenating for me. These are pilots, just like you and me, who work together to make GA better—for themselves and for everyone. That’s as good as it gets!

  • http://www.macfadden.org Michael MacFadden

    I want to thank Mr. Fuller for visiting us in San Diego and for sharing his perspective on aviation with the Plus One Flyers membership. I am a relatively new pilot, earning my private pilots license in 2008. In my short time as a pilot, I have been to several flying clubs. Mr. Fuller is correct that Plus One Flyers is something special. They have found a way to make flying fun, affordable, and a truly community based affair.

    During his talk, Mr. Fuller was articulate, informative, and sincere. He clearly cares deeply about the future of General Aviation as well as Aviation in General. Mr. Fuller spoke about the need for our community to grow in order to ensure our collective voices are heard and our interests protected. For his larger efforts at AOPA and for his commitment to visit and speak with those he represents, Mr. Fuller should be commend.

    At the end of the Q&A session, I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Fuller the final question. I spoke to the fact that, after I completed my private license, my wife gainer her private ticket and that I a now working on my instrument rating. My wife and I are investing a great deal of time in money in aviation in hopes that in will be an integral part of the family that we are just starting to grow (we’re expecting in the fall). Our hope is that flying will be a passion passed on to our children and grand children. I put forth my concern to Mr. Fuller that there seems to be many challenges threatening the future of GA. Fuel prices, over-reactive regulation due to terror threats and/or accidents, environmental pressures, and a declining pilot population all make me question whether my children will be able to take part in aviation as we know it today.

    Mr. Fuller reassured me that pilot’s will always find a way to fly. There have been cyclical threats to aviation over aviation’s entire history. Recent wins in congress such as the creation of the GA Caucus, and the defeat of user fees show hope. As European countries have imposed user fees, tight regulations, and high fuel prices, pilots there still fly. Flying as we know it may change over the next few decades, all things change. Mr. Fuller though is correct; those with the passion to fly will find a way to take to the sky.

    Hearing Mr. Fullers thoughts on this matter we very comforting and enlightening. I want to again thank him for taking the time to speak to us, and I want to thank the Plus One Flyers for brining him to us. AOPA and Plus One Flyers are two shinning beacons in the aviation community. I am honored to be a member of both.

  • http://www.finalflight.info David Reinhart

    Europe and the U.S. are not identical situations. Europe has alternative methods of transportation that we do not, specifcally high speed rail. One of the major roles of aviation in the U.S., is for on-demand transportation, especially in the middle distances for both business and personal reasons. Any change in the environment that degrades that capability is to be resisted strongly.