New member fro NE MO

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Flaminghotsauce
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:52 am

New member fro NE MO

Postby Flaminghotsauce » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:31 pm

Hi. My name is Kevin, and I have an airplane problem.

("Hi Kevin")

I joined a Cessna 172 flight club last August, (2014) and have suddenly found myself President. Dang it.

Anyway, our new VP (also named Kevin), is pushing hard to expand the club to two airplanes, the 2nd being a LSA. He's done a LOT of good groundwork, calling Flight Clubs all over the country that fly LSA's to see how they operate, how profitable it is, etc. We're going to have a meeting in two days to discuss with the current members.

I'm here to read up everyone's opinions, experiences, etc. I'm learning that most of the current members are likely going to want a high wing, tricycle configuration, because they're older, and no one has any taildragger experience that I know of. Kevin the VP is totally SOLD on a Jabiru 230D, but everyone else is fairly insistent on a far lesser expense for initial purchase. There are some very good used aircraft coming on the market below 70K, but that's still a big dollar purchase 'round here.

I've been reading up on LSA's for a long time, but not passionately, as I didn't see the future of me having to make decisions on PURCHASING one. ARGH! so I'm studying a little more intensely these days. I love the idea, as I think it'll reinvigorate our club. To get even half the non-flyers back in the air would be a great achievement. Well, anyway, that's were we are, and where I am. I"m on this forum to learn.

Also, about me, married with 9 kids, one grand child, played music professionally for half my life until I quit to be a mail carrier. Do a LOT of computer flying, and just a few hours a year in the 172. My wife doesn't mind going up, but she doesn't like it when we turn the airplane. I tend to have a goofy sense of humor, so pardon me if I post gibberish occasionally.

SportPilot
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby SportPilot » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:51 pm

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

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby cimmaronjim » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:45 pm

This is a newbie opinion, but I think an LSA is a great idea because while private pilots can fly one, sport pilots can't fly a 172. A great option to have if like you said, you want to try to get some former pilots back into the air. Aerotrek 240 is a great choice, but most of your new production LSA's are either composite or tube and fabric and need to be hangered.

Flaminghotsauce
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:52 am

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby Flaminghotsauce » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:11 pm

We have 18 members, only 5 have their medicals. Me included. We're considering expanding the number of members to accommodate an LSA as well. That'll help with the purchase price. We may have to do a multi-level membership. Not sure yet, and I don't know what would be legal. IF this passes, there'll have to be accommodations for members that DO NOT want to be involved with the LSA, as well as non-medical members that would be their only option. This could be a long meeting.

If we expand the number of members, we can have up to 18 per aircraft, so we can go to 36. Will we? We'll see. I'd love to see the 172 get more hours of use, but If we get an LSA, my hunch is MOST will use that instead of the Cessna.

The VP knows a bunch of people that are willing to jump in and build for THEIR COST a brand new hangar, from concrete to the door, closest to the highway so we can also advertise by merely hanging a banner. So if this goes perfectly, we'll wind up with a new hangar, reasonably new airplane, a pile of new members, and greatly increased cash flow.

I personally would consider an Ercoupe, but most seem resistant so far, as the 172 is pretty old already. High win tricycle would be the safest, and easiest to ingress/egress for all us old farts. I would be perfectly happy with a Zenith 750 Cruiser as the Mexico MO plant is nearby. But there's not a lot of those used. I've been doing nothing but research! I'm kind of boring around the house this week. So says my wife.

SportPilot
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby SportPilot » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:30 pm

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Flaminghotsauce
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:52 am

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby Flaminghotsauce » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:43 pm

What I mean about more cash flow is that so few hours are being put upon the 172 that the hourly cost average is going up, and we have to raise rates to not lose more money. Just having more cash moving in and around will help this.

One of our bylaws is that we cannot have debt. This is an issue for buying another airplane. But if we can swing one with new memberships and getting some of the older non-flyers to upgrade to a dual airplane membership, we might be able to actually pull this off without a loan. Tomorrow's proposal at the meeting should prove wildly entertaining.

SportPilot
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby SportPilot » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:33 pm

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Flaminghotsauce
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:52 am

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby Flaminghotsauce » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:16 am

I think there' a lot of nostalgia involved, also the difficulty in selling a share. Not a huge number of pilots around. I bought my share from a guy that had moved to Texas a year ago. His name was at the top of the list. So quite a few are holding a share that they can't exercise, and might not be able to easily sell. I'm thinking about doing a few small things like Facebook and Craigslist to advertise the club, to see if we can get some active pilots to buy in. Of the 13 non-active members, there are only three shares for sale, and the club owns one share for sale that someone walked away from.

$100 a month would cause most to revolt. We're extremely inexpensive and like it. We raised it from $20 to $30 per hour in December to cover costs. I know two active members will quit using the airplane altogether if the rates go up any more. Which, in itself, would cause the rates to go up! :D

I live 25 miles from the airport where the club is, and 7 miles from KIRK. KIRK houses a rental 172 that rents for $105 /hour. Wet I think. If one only flies one hour per month, the cost is very, very close to our club cost, and closer for myself and one of the active members.

An LSA is a perfect fit to revive this outfit. Our former president has had health issues, and the VP pushing all this also. There are a handful that are scattered distant from the airport. I know one guy that used to drive an hour in to fly, but his job relocated him an hour the opposite way from home, so he doesn't fly it anymore, another guy bought a share to get his PPL and never finished. Get a couple of those guys to sell to active pilots and it would help all parties.

MOST would benefit from the LSA. The club I think could be grown, and get this poor airport hopping. I think I could use an LSA with my wife for shorter trips. Non-medical shareholders would obviously benefit, and expanding the club would bring in more pilots. I can't see this NOT working, as long as we're not trying to purchase a NEW Jabiru 230D or something. The cost of a Ercoupe would absolutely work. This would be an easier project if we were just trying to purchase a non LSA ship.

SportPilot
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby SportPilot » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:41 am

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Flaminghotsauce
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:52 am

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby Flaminghotsauce » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:11 pm

Another possibility would be to have an LSA flying club separate from the 172 club.

SportPilot
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby SportPilot » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:41 pm

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chavycha
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 5:11 pm
Location: Eugene, OR, USA

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby chavycha » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:42 pm

Give the 172 to me and buy a LSA. :D

If I were looking for a club LSA, I'd consider useful load and availability of service/parts. I'm guessing that most of your members aren't lightweight jockey types. Some of the LSAs (I'm lookin' at you, Cessna 162) are great planes but are pretty tough to fit two big guys and any useful amount of fuel. If you go with another brand you'll at bare minimum want to have access to an A&P with Rotax experience; better if he/she knows the specific LSA brand.
Scott K. :: A bunch of silly letters
Disclaimer :: Listen to me at your own risk. These are just my opinions...

chavycha
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 5:11 pm
Location: Eugene, OR, USA

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby chavycha » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:48 pm

The club I fly with has a 172 and a 162. The club has around 50 members, but only about 20 of these are actively flying. There are another 5 or so students. Seems like a lot, but usually I can book one or the other of the airplanes with a bit of notice. It's rare that they both will be booked out solid for a weekend.

I personally fly the 162 more. It's just as fast as the 172N and I prefer the G300 cockpit. Not to mention it's cheaper by about $25/hr. I stay current on both, though. Nice to have the 172 as an option for longer trips and/or carrying a few people.
Scott K. :: A bunch of silly letters
Disclaimer :: Listen to me at your own risk. These are just my opinions...

Flaminghotsauce
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:52 am

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby Flaminghotsauce » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:40 pm

Well, our "Flying Club" turned out not even a quorum for the meeting. I learned that some of our inactive members don't want to sell their shares, because it's cool to be a member?!? Some pretend that they're going to get back into it. The club is unlikely to expand. There's a lot of hoops for a lot of people to jump through, and they all seem to be set in their ways.

Therefore, the VP is going to start looking into ways to start an LSA club at the next airport down. He's so totally sold on Jabiru, he's almost unwilling to consider anything else. The J230D is all he wants. He's a good salesman, and the airplane is a good fit for the missions envisioned. There is a Jabiru dealer just over the border, and Jabiru USA is in Tennessee, all a reasonable distance away. He might have to have a large membership for it to work.

SportPilot
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: New member fro NE MO

Postby SportPilot » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:00 pm

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