I was curious if you have any instructors that are members and if they can provide Private, Instrument and/or Commercial training and what are their rates or can you use your own instructor?
Currently we have one member in the club that is a CFI. We also have several instructors on our approved list that are excellent. Advanced ratings can be had most instructors charge $25-30/hr. Instructors are invited to apply for club approval and once approved, they can instruct in the club’s plane. A member that is current and rated can use any Instructor as the member is PIC.
If membership fees rise in the future, how much will they rise?
Right now we are at $67/month. Fixed costs are always being reviewed and adjusted as necessary. We try to keep our dues steady and reasonable. We are a “Not for Profit” club so our dues cover our fixed expenses such as hanger, taxes and insurance.
What are the organization’s future goals? New planes, selling planes, new equipment and so on. And how are these decisions handled? What are current members leaning towards (holding planes used for training or for fun)?
We hope to get enough members to afford another plane. At one time we had a 182 Skylane among other planes and that seems to be the ma-jority choice right now. We have an elected Board of Directors to handle busi-ness and membership meetings. Anything major is voted on by everyone. We would like to appeal across the spectrum of club minded pilots. Our 172 is serving us well but a bigger X/C plane would be a good fit as would possibly a Light Sport.
Who is in charge of maintenance and what is the policy on fixing squawks or reporting necessary maintenance? What is maintained regularly?
We have a Board appointed Crew Chief and several of us help out with oil changes, tires, etc. We use a very fine A/P on the field when needed. We can only do the items allowed in the FAR’s and if time is not with us we must have our A/P step in. We keep our plane safe and legal as well as nice. We build modest reserves through the hourly rate to help offset the costs of repairs and refurbishments. The plane does need to be out of service from time to time but we all try to minimize that.
How many members are there at a time? Will this number rise? Can prospective members/3rd parties sit in on club meetings?
All are welcome and invited to attend all our meetings. The Board of Directors currently meet in the gray building south side of the LXT FBO once per month and every 3 months we hold the meeting as a Membership meeting. With current usage we find that 18 members is a comfortable number with one plane. Of course to ever buy a second plane we will need to expand a bit first. It all boils down to availability. Right now most of us are not flying that much so we could expand by another 5-6 members. We may build a waiting list before taking a debt for another plane. We will decide that when the time comes.
Are the weekends and holidays a busy time?
Sometimes. Though we have seen the plane setting in the hanger over holiday weekends. Oshkosh is a plan ahead for sure.
How fast are memberships usually filled? Will other members have to maintain the expected monthly dues if someone drops using the ‘Rapid Departure Plan’ and the club is unable to fill the spot?
It varies. Sometimes after 3-4 months of no interest we have 3-4 members all at once to sign up. The RDP was created to give someone an exit strategy. We set the amount to 18 months of the then current dues. This is an estimate on the safe side for finding a replacement. When you are a not for profit as we are, losing members drive up the dues. It is a delicate thing to balance.
Is there a club debt and how are debts handled? Are members responsible for any debt that might occur? Will any possible lawsuits affect members of the club personally? Is there an Indemnification Clause where members won’t be held responsible?
We are proud to say that we have minimal debt. In order to replace the aging GPS and to become ADS-B compliant, the Club “loaned” the members approximately $24,000 for the new Garmin 750 and avionics. It was paid back via a monthly assessment on all members on schedule in August of 2016. The plane is paid for and has a hull value around 90K. Hourly airplane usage fees fund escrow accounts for engine, appearance and avionics reserves. We hate to levy assessments. We would rather plan ahead. Sometimes it may be necessary, but even then it is a club decision and it is voted upon by everyone. Being a 501c3 Not for Profit club we are insulated from personal liability as members like an LLC. You are responsible for you like always but you cannot be sued for what I may have done. This is my understanding. Our Treasurer can copy the paperwork to show this.
If something happens to the plane and it is unavailable for over a month, are monthly dues still charged? What if something happens to the club or if there is dissolution of the club, are all membership fees dropped or reimbursed and are monthly fees are terminated?
Monthly dues cover the fixed costs that do not go away. Hanger, insurance, taxes, etc. The dues continue whether the plane is flyable or not or whether you are flyable or not. I believe that if the club were to be dissolved that because of our tax benefits of being in a Not for Profit status, that the assets have to turned over to a similar Not for Profit organization. Of course if the club were insolvent there wouldn’t be much. There is no King of Hill or the last man standing/winner takes all. The monthly dues exist only while the club exists. If hard times forced the club to die we would try to salvage what we could for the members who paid the way.
Are members insured or do they need non-owner insurance? Do hours need to be paid in advance or is there a bill at the end of the month/end of flight?
We have a club insurance policy (Avemco) and members are treated like owners. You save needing renters insurance. That’s about half you dues for the year. Our Treasurer sends a bill out the first of every month for hours flown. We charge our-selves right now at $57/hr. dry rate off the tach. Tach time saves a bunch of money over Hobbs rental rates. We buy our own fuel. The plane burns around 10 GPH so flying costs somewhere around $100/hr. total.
Are there any rules/restrictions/requirements for scheduling or renting? (ex. can’t be on unpaved runways, have to fly at least an hour) Do you have to take the plane up a certain amount of times per month/year?
Our insurance stipulates that only fields shown on the sectional be used. No Grandma’s pastures. Grass strips are fine. Out of country flights must be approved by the Board and you will need a copy of the insurance anyway. No daily minimum time as with most rentals. But if you are scheduling more than a 2 week period you must get Board approval. Our Bylaws state a limitation of no more than 5 hours scheduled in a week, but we have never had to enforce that. If the plane is not being flown and you want it, it is yours. Generally if you have a heavy usage for a period of instruction, it is best not to schedule too far in advance. This gives the other members an opportunity to book the plane. If a problem arises with someone taking unfair advantage we would address that at that time. We are all friends and that is primary. You must answer to the FAA for minimum flight time. We have no imposed minimum other than that.
What happens if there are maintenance issues away from LXT? What if something happens to the plane and you are the PIC? Are you held responsible or does the club cover the charges? What if you notice issues preflight? Do you report them on the previous renter and how is it reported?
If you have trouble off field you will need to contact the Crew Chief or a member of the Board to initiate repairs or rescue. It happens. A member is authorized to spend up to, I believe, $200. Nothing is that cheap on an airplane. Call to get approval and direction. Communication is easy now days. Things wear out and break. We share the risk and the expense in the club. If you are negligent or just unlucky and damage the plane you will be expected to belly up. We have a $500 insurance deductible, I believe, so that helps. Report all squawks to the Crew Chief and/or the Board. We will handle it if there is a member problem.
I saw that fuel needs to be covered. Is there a discount rate? What if more oil is need? Does the club cover the cost of oil?
It is cheaper rate if we use self-serve fuel. We keep oil in the hangar and 2 quarts in the plane. If somehow you find you need oil off field you would buy it and the Treasurer would reimburse you. Oil is factored into the hourly rate.
Are GPS maps kept up-to-date?
IFR GPS data base is kept current.
Are there spare headsets available for passengers?
Someone left a nice David Clark set in the hanger years ago. It is available. I have loaned mine out from time to time. The club does not own any head sets.
What is the payload of the airplane?
With full fuel of 56 gallons, of which 53 gallons is usable, we have a cabin payload of 555.7 pounds. We keep the plane fueled to 35 gallons and this gives us a cabin payload of 681.7 pounds.
Interested in Joining Us?
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