When you want to learn to fly, one of the options that you can look at is to join a flying club. Most aviators get a good headstart when they decide to join a flying club.
Now, what is a flying club? It is an organization that is dedicated to bringing aviation home to those that would might want to learn to fly or rent an aircraft but the cost of doing such are a bit out of reach. Specifically, it provides a source of aircraft ownership. It helps ease your concerns by simply providing a pool of aircraft that can be readily rented out and thus eliminating the need for you to search for aircraft that you could rent for your flying lessons. Some flying clubs can also be specialized and cater to aviators that are interested in restored or vintage aircraft.
What Does It Take to Join a Flying Club?
To sign up for a club, you typically have to pay a monthly due. Now depending on the type of club, this monthly due answers different expenses related to the club. In most flying clubs also you must purchase a "share" of the aircraft. This again depends on the type of club mentioned below.
One type of club that you could join is the equity club. As its name suggests, your membership equals to you buying a equity in the club. That is, a part ownership of each aircraft in the inventory of the club. Equity clubs are generally more expensive because the dues that you will pay will be used to pay for expenses such as aircraft insurance, and maintenance. You also would have to rent the aircraft hourly when you want to use one of them.
A non-equity club, on the other hand, is a less expensive alternative to equity clubs, since members are not buying part-ownership of the aircraft. The fees or dues they charge monthly are generally lower than that of equity clubs, and are also used to help cover the fixed costs of the aircraft. Just like the equity club, you also have to pay an hourly rate for renting the aircraft for your flight lessons.
Choosing a Flying Club
Selection of a flying club would depend on your financial capability and your dedication to the hobby. If your hoping to own part of the airplane then an equity club is the route for you to go. Otherwise, it would be good to join a non-equity club as it is easier on one’s pockets.
You might also want to consider the size of the club when you are looking at your options. Irregardless of their being an equity or a non-equity club, the more members there is, the lower the fees as the number of members can help answer for the costs of the club’s aircraft. However to the flip side you have less aircraft availability.