Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

There's hundreds of flying clubs around the country that own and manage aircraft for their members. Aside from the camaraderie, clubs make flying more affordable.

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cimmaronjim
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby cimmaronjim » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:54 am

Jack, Although I expect my experience will be closer to the latter than the former of yours, what makes me think it might have a chance is that the owner of this field has carved out a little niche in the Sport Pilot market and there are basically no LSA flying options other than ownership.

I hope to draw from his students and former students.

I think there may be a market of Light Sport pilots who can't or don't want to invest a minimum of $25,000 dollars into an aircraft.

In evaluating the market, it seems that SPL appeals to an older demographic including PPL's who no longer want to hassle with the medical. Retirees and semi retirees don't need to concentrate all their flying on the weekends, so I think there could be fewer scheduling conflicts than a traditional PPL flying club.

i wouldn't even think of starting one of those. There are plenty of them, plus FBO Cessna rentals available.

SportPilot
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby SportPilot » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:36 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cimmaronjim
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby cimmaronjim » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:07 pm

We'll just have to see what interest there is out there and for what.

Thanks for the help guys.

cimmaronjim
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:22 pm
Location: Southern AZ

Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby cimmaronjim » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:02 pm

I made some changes to the website. Removed dollar amounts so as not to scare anyone off and left the specifics to be determined by the prospective members.

SportPilot
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby SportPilot » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:41 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:04 am

Jim:

"The key is to find compatible partners and do a good job up front when drawing up your partnership agreement."
Couldn't agree more with SportPilot on both those points, altho' the former is harder to act on than the latter. And discussing, weighing and debating the specifics of the agreement is where things probably cross over best in getting at the former.

I also thought there was some real value in SportPilot's suggestion to start holding 'meetings', perhaps posting a fresh announcement each month vs. just leaving the same stale poster on BB's indefinitely. You could also move the meeting around from one airport to another, if that fits your geographic circumstances. Initially, you are like a recruiter, who is part salesman and part educator. In your shoes I'd have a straw man draft of the agreement available. When/if you start to draw in others, it would make the perfect subject of discussion at the 'meeting'.

Your description of your initial marketing analysis makes sense to me. Good luck on the hunt!
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

cimmaronjim
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby cimmaronjim » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:42 pm

Well. It was a good idea but I just don't believe I can pull it off. If I had the means to buy an aircraft first, then I might be able to sell shares but that's out of reach for me.

With no rental LSA's in town and no LSA clubs, I really won't have any flying options after I get my ticket so I think it's kind of pointless.

At least I got to solo, but to continue training is probably a waste of time and money.

Thanks for the responses guys.

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drseti
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby drseti » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:11 pm

cimmaronjim wrote:At least I got to solo, but to continue training is probably a waste of time and money.


I see it a little differently. Getting to solo is the hardest part, but the skills you've worked to acquire are quite perishable. If you continue now, the rest is easy. But, if you quit now and decide to try again later, you'll be pretty much starting all over again.

As for availability of LSAs, that's a problem now that will only improve with time. Once you're licensed, you're a pilot for life, so if a plane becomes available later, it will be easy to get current and start

If and when you get licensed, you'll be ready to fly LSAs with any of us when your travels take you in our general direction. Most of us consider an empty seat to be a wasted resource, so we're always glad to have another pilot join us.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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Cluemeister
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby Cluemeister » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:06 pm

Can I ask what the roadblocks are? Were you not able to agree on an aircraft? Not enough people interested? Not enough people with money interested?

Does anyone have an LSA for sale in a two hour radius they would want to put in a leaseback situation?

Just trying to think of ideas!

Flocker
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby Flocker » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:35 pm

drseti wrote:Most of us consider an empty seat to be a wasted resource, so we're always glad to have another pilot join us.


+ 1

cimmaronjim
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby cimmaronjim » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:52 pm

Cluemeister wrote:Can I ask what the roadblocks are? Were you not able to agree on an aircraft? Not enough people interested? Not enough people with money interested?

Does anyone have an LSA for sale in a two hour radius they would want to put in a leaseback situation?

Just trying to think of ideas!


You just can't sell an aircraft club unless you already have the aircraft.

cimmaronjim
Posts: 43
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby cimmaronjim » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:45 am

I suppose I'll finish getting my ticket but that's about all the flying I'll get to do if I have to drive a minimum of two hours to rent a plane.

I think there is a real opportunity here for an LSA club or even a money making rental, because it would be the only one near a city of about a million, but selling an idea without a plane just doesn't work.

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drseti
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby drseti » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:12 am

Try writing up a detailed business plan, showing that, if you buy a plane, you can start a successful for-profit flying club. Then, shop the plan around to banks. You might just be able to find one willing to give you a business loan for plane purchase and startup costs. Think of this as an opportunity!

I have a flowchart on my website on running a flight school. It should apply to a commercial flying club as well:
http://avsport.org/graphics/flight_school.pdf
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Cluemeister
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby Cluemeister » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:13 pm

I always liked the old saying:

Obstacles aren't put in your way to stop you, they are put there to determine how much you want something.

Flocker
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Re: Looking to start an experimental/sport flying club

Postby Flocker » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:13 pm

drseti wrote:I have a flowchart on my website on running a flight school. It should apply to a commercial flying club as well:
http://avsport.org/graphics/flight_school.pdf


Excellent flow chart!


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