This last week I finally made the decision to become a member of a local flying club! I had originally met with the owner several months ago, in the middle of summer. I was interested in the idea of being able to fly outside of a Part 141 training environment, and specifically in being able to take up passengers without an instructor. The flying club based out of my airport seemed like the perfect way to be able to accomplish this. I delayed making a final decision until recently, mainly for financial reasons and because of my busy schedule. With the week of Spring Break coming up and warmer weather just around the corner, however, I decided it was the right time to try.
The process of joining was simple. I had to pay an annual membership fee, which goes towards paying for the aircraft insurance policy and hangar costs. After that I had to fill out an application with information about my flying experience, and complete an indemnity form. Sometime next week I still need to go apply to get a swipe key for access to the airport gate.
As of now, my first flight is scheduled for next Friday. I will be going up with one of the flight instructors from the club (and a member of Alpha Eta Rho, the aviation fraternity I am part of) and getting checked out in a Cessna 172. It should be an interesting transition, since I’ll be going from a full glass cockpit to traditional gauge instruments. Another major difference for me will be flying with a carbureted engine.
I’ve heard flying clubs can be a great way to become more involved in the general aviation community, and it should be fun getting to meet other club members. Hopefully it will make for some interesting blog articles this next month!