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Old January 5th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #1
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How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

A flying club I am interested in has an opening but it's over an hour drive from the house. I can rent for more money at my local airport 25 minutes away. So I'm trying decide if the drive is worth some savings. I thought I saw a thread on how far everyone drives to their plane but I can't find it. So does anyone drive over an hour each way?
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Old January 5th, 2013, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

I do... it's not by choice though. i have 3 airports i can drive to... each is roughly an hour away, it's not so bad you get used to it. unless the planes are ridiculously expensive or dangerous i would take the shorter drive

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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

30 minutes, one-way is about the limit for me. I hate driving.

Whether or not an hour away is worth it for you depends on the nature of your flights. If you're going to be driving 2 hours roundtrip to log 1 hour of flight time, that is not worth it in my book unless the airplane is really cheap. If you're going to be in the club to have a plane to take out on multiday trips, then maybe it could be worth it, if you utilize the plane enough to justify paying the fixed costs associated with it. Maybe.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

I only have twenty hours towards my PPL so at this point it's all training. Long term the club has a 182 which I have my eyes on for cross country flights. It seems the planes in this club are not too busy and I could check them out for cross country flights much easier than the flight school planes.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:39 PM   #5
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A flying club I am interested in has an opening but it's over an hour drive from the house. I can rent for more money at my local airport 25 minutes away. So I'm trying decide if the drive is worth some savings. I thought I saw a thread on how far everyone drives to their plane but I can't find it. So does anyone drive over an hour each way?
Flyingcheesehead, please pick up the white courtesy phone.....




(I think his commute to his club is about 80 min....)


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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #6
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

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A flying club I am interested in has an opening but it's over an hour drive from the house. I can rent for more money at my local airport 25 minutes away. So I'm trying decide if the drive is worth some savings. I thought I saw a thread on how far everyone drives to their plane but I can't find it. So does anyone drive over an hour each way?
If I was keeping a plane that only sees occasional traveling service so you can keep it at a base with your favorite mechanic, an hour or so would be ok. If you want to fly a lot and/or are learning, that will seriously diminish your going flying.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 11:54 PM   #7
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

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I only have twenty hours towards my PPL so at this point it's all training. Long term the club has a 182 which I have my eyes on for cross country flights. It seems the planes in this club are not too busy and I could check them out for cross country flights much easier than the flight school planes.
PPL training is probably the worst time that you could be facing a 1 hour commute to the plane. You want it to be close so that you are motivated to go get an hour of practice in, whenever you have a spare hour. Especially if you're post-solo, you want to be able to jump in the plane and do anfew laps whenever the bug bites, And if your anything like me, it's a lot easier to find a spare hour, than a spare 3 hours.

After you get your certificate, as others have mentioned, the longer commute might not be a problem, especially if the club is cool about taking the plane on overnight trips (this can get really expensive with school/FBO rentals).

The elephant in the room, is if the opportunity to join the club might be gone by the time you finish your PPL. If you think there is a risk of that, then it might be worth joining the club now, and expecting not to use it until you finish training.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #8
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

When I was doing my private pilots license, I was training at an airport roughly 1 1/2 hours away. It took a significant amount of time for each lesson (3 hours driving, 1 hour ground stuff, 1 or 2 hours flight, 6 total ish?).

I didn't mind it though.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:09 AM   #9
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

I would look around at the airport you train at for partnerships/clubs. I got checked out at an airport about an hour away and have only flown there 4 times in the past 18months... Too far of a drive to make it worth flying the plane I like more when there are other options.

For training you will be driving atleast twice a week and that drive will add up quick. What are the savings/ advantages?
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:13 AM   #10
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

My drive is about 45 minutes each way but good prices. $55 mo dues, $70 for 152, $85 172p and $95 172sp. All wet. Also reimburse upto 5.50/gal
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Old January 6th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

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My drive is about 45 minutes each way but good prices. $55 mo dues, $70 for 152, $85 172p and $95 172sp. All wet. Also reimburse upto 5.50/gal
It would cost you around $40 to just to drive out there, not to mention two hours of your time.

So if you fly the 172P for three hours in a month, your effective rate is $103.33. + driving expenses....

It wouldn't be worth it to me. The 172s are an OK deal, the 152 is a tad on the expensive side.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #12
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Will you have to switch CFI?
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Old January 6th, 2013, 09:29 AM   #13
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

Depends on how bad I wanted to be apart of "That" club. What equipment they had, who the members were etc.....
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Old January 6th, 2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

There is no club at my local airport and all the partnerships i've heard about are for either training planes which won't carry the family for cross country trips or are complex/high performance planes a little advanced for me at this point. This club does $175 month dues and $25 dry for the 172 and $50 dry for the 182. I pay $150 wet for the 172S I've flying so far. They only let in 15 people at a time so it is unknown when the next opening would occur if I miss this one. I would have to switch CFI's, the club has to approve the CFI's and then only up to two(which they already have). That might not be a loss though since my CFI has been going out on interviews lately and might not be around long.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:05 AM   #15
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Seems a lot for monthly dues
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:35 AM   #16
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

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Originally Posted by ajstoner21 View Post
When I was doing my private pilots license, I was training at an airport roughly 1 1/2 hours away. It took a significant amount of time for each lesson (3 hours driving, 1 hour ground stuff, 1 or 2 hours flight, 6 total ish?).

I didn't mind it though.
Yeah I did it similarly, you get used to it and just hang out at the airport more when you are down there.

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My drive is about 45 minutes each way but good prices. $55 mo dues, $70 for 152, $85 172p and $95 172sp. All wet. Also reimburse upto 5.50/gal
Those are ridiculously high monthly dues! I pay 25/mo for similarly priced planes, actually cheaper planes... when I'm not flying the Citabria of course.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

Several have mentioned the monthly seems high. I've looked up as many clubs as I could find online and it does seem higher than most. Of course most of those have a much higher number of members which I imagine could affect availability. Has anyone found a good ratio of members per plane. This club has a 172 and a 182 shared between fifteen members.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #18
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

As others said, get your license close to home then consider the club if their XC policies work for you. 15 members and two airplanes seems fine, unless the stuff is always broken or they have some inane rules that keeps most everyone in the 172.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #19
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

The rule for the 182 is 5 hours in type if you have 100 total hours or more and 10 hours if you have less. The club pays to cover everyone with insurance and evidently this is a rule in place by their policy. I have no idea if that's a normal requirement or not.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #20
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

That is reasonable. See what the XC overnight rules are compared to renting, that is the next deal breaker.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:53 PM   #21
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

The By Laws says the club may charge a minimum of 2 hours per day for cross country flights. Insurance covers flights to the bahamas which is allowed with approval of the board. i guess the curent president goes to the Bahamas every year for a week. Since it says may, I'm not sure if the 2 hours per day is enforced or not. No other restrictions I know of except it must be scheduled on the club calendar.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #22
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

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My drive is about 45 minutes each way but good prices. $55 mo dues, $70 for 152, $85 172p and $95 172sp. All wet. Also reimburse upto 5.50/gal
Aren't you at the club in Westosha? I looked into them, but too far of a drive from Milwaukee.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 12:04 AM   #23
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

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Several have mentioned the monthly seems high. I've looked up as many clubs as I could find online and it does seem higher than most. Of course most of those have a much higher number of members which I imagine could affect availability. Has anyone found a good ratio of members per plane. This club has a 172 and a 182 shared between fifteen members.
Problem in South East FL if that's where you are, the complete dearth of flying clubs and good planes for rent, especially if you want to go to the Bahamas. Used to be if someone broke down in the Bahamas you could send your mechanic with parts to fix it, a couple of years ago the Bahamians changed up the rules and now you have to use local talent and supplies which gets awfully expensive.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 03:21 AM   #24
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

I drive a minimum of an hour and 15 minutes each way to my airport by choice. I started there for the light sport stuff, but I stay there because of the fantastic instructors, fun planes, lower rates, and amazing views. I fly out of Bay Bridge Airport on the Eastern Shore of MD, but I live in Northern VA. Crazy drive, and half of it is on the beltway. Blegh. DC drivers will know what I mean. But I keep doing it, so it must be worth it!
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Old January 7th, 2013, 06:30 AM   #25
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Re: How far would you drive to join a good flying club?

I am doing my helicopter add on at an airport 20 miles from home. I plan the trips around traffic loads so the ride takes me about 40 m. It is still about a 5 hour adventure for a lesson. After I get the add on, I will still rent from them as I prepare for a commercial.
An hour isn't too bad depending on the drive.
I am not sure I would fly more even if the plane was parked in my driveway.
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