Flying Club Buy-In

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SoonerAviator, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Looking at joining a flying club (Oklahoma Airmen) and wanted to see if these numbers looked about right:

    $1K buy-in
    $150/monthly dues

    Club owns a C172N and C182Q. $50hr/dry on the C172, $70/hr on the C182, both in a hangar. Both have Garmin 430 and modern Garmin audio panels. Interior is new on the C172, the C182 looks like an 8 or 9/10.

    Read through the by-laws and everything was pretty standard fare as far as club operation and board involvement/meetings. Club has been in existence for several decades (est.1953), so it's nothing new that just got thrown together. Compared to renting a run of the mill C172N/P at the local FBO, breakeven is right at 4hrs per month (not including the buy-in). I don't know how many members they currently carry, but the max they allow per by-laws is 25. I know it's a pretty low buy-in, but some of that is probably local demand. Any relevant questions to ask? I'd probably try and look at the online scheduler to check out what availability looks like. No real mission requirements at the moment other than just pancake breakfasts (when they resume) and potentially starting IR sometime in 2021.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  2. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Many times a club with a $1000 buy in is not a share. The money is a non refundable membership fee. Find out how many members and look at the schedule June-Aug of 2020 to determine aircraft availability.
     
  3. CaptainXap

    CaptainXap Pre-Flight

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    Tach hour or Hobbs hour? Clubs seem to be more likely to charge Tach as compared to FBOs.
    I made a spreadsheet comparing prices for a bunch of places near me recently - it helps you fiddle with numbers like how many hours per month you expect to put in. I think when I was doing it I used 1 Tach hour as 1.2 or 1.25 Hobbs hours.

    FWIW, there's a similar club near me that has a 172 and 182 - they charge Tach, very slightly less than your club, but also pretty much the cheapest place I could find to fly if you do more than a couple of hours a month.
     
  4. Flying_Nun

    Flying_Nun Line Up and Wait

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    I'm in a 12-14 member equity club with a PA28-161. $3,000 buy-in, $110 dues, and $47 dry tach. Plane is hangared.

    About 20 minutes away is another club. They have a Citabria, a RV12, 2 C172s, a C182, and 2 SR22S. Buy-in ranges from $500 - $3,000, dues from $100 - $350, and flight time from $35 - $130 dry tach. All hangared.

    2nd club details: https://tflyingclub.org/

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  5. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    The monthly dues feel high, but I suppose the hangars are expensive.

    The monthly fees should cover the monthly expenses, the hourly fee should cover everything airplane related.

    $1000 seems reasonable as a deposit, but high if it's an application fee.
     
  6. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    In this case, the by-laws state that any Active Member has a share in property rights, as well as equal distribution of proceeds if the club were to be dissolved. The low buy-in was certainly a concern of mine prior to reading through the by-laws. It's obviously an attractive amount to potential members, but I wouldn't have balked if it were significantly higher just to weed out those who could potentially be too financially-constrained. In any case I wasn't counting on the 1AMU boot to be much more than sunk cost, since it's not a huge sum of money and only gets about 8 hours of flight time at rental rates so if it were lost it's not going to cause me a ton of grief.
     
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Not sure on tach vs hobbs, but the clubs I've looked into at other locations have been tach. It does add up over time vs the rental outfits charging hobbs time.
     
  8. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    No telling what's covered by the fixed fee aside from aircraft hangar capable of holding both aircraft and group insurance. I haven't hardly flown at all in the past few years (having kids will do that) so the $150/mo isn't really much more than an hour of rental cost anyway. Uncle of mine just renewed his CFI (career corporate pilot) with the intention of getting me my IR, so the $35+/hr savings over the FBO rentals might add up over the course of IR training. Not to mention my preference for doing my training in the same aircraft instead of being bounced around to 5 or 6 with different panels.
     
  9. GaryM

    GaryM Cleared for Takeoff

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    In the northeast, that would be a very sweet deal. Probably not bad where you are, either, given the condition of the planes and the fact that they are hangared.
    My club has an application fee of a few hundred dollars, separate from the equity buy in. For many years, the buy in was freakishly low, much like you are reporting, because the club never changed it over several decades of increasing equity. So that might be what you are seeing. As stated above in the thread, monthly dues are often structured to cover fixed costs--mostly hangar or tie down, and insurance, and perhaps an estimate for an annual with no big surprises. Variable costs are folded into the hourly rate, including a set aside for the engine reserve.

    We have a read-only account for the scheduling website, and give access to prospective members so they can scroll through past and future availability of the aircraft. See if they've done something similar.
     
  10. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Here are the birds the currently run: The 182 has a 3-blade on it since this pic was taken after a prop strike.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    What do the local 172’s rent for per hour at the FBO?
     
  12. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    $125/hr wet for a 172N. $135/hr for 172R/S. $161 for C172S G1000.
     
  13. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Yes, but there is no refund if you leave. There may be a provision to sell your share. New members feed the treasury with the only payout occurring if they dissolve. If they did dissolve, there would not be the funds to pay out the members 100%.

    There is no problem with this as long as you realize your $1000 is really a membership fee.
     
  14. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Im sure that's how they are able to have two relatively updated aircraft without really expensive monthly fees or high deposits.
     
  15. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Compared to here, its a smokin' deal.............................
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Sounds reasonable. Our club is organized in tiers, so tier 1 is the warrior/archer, 2 is the older dakota, 3 is newer dakota, and 4 is the arrow. It's $500 for each level, the monthly goes up by $50, and you have access to lower tier planes. Hourly rates are similar as well. We have ownership, and if the club dissolved the $100k or so of equity would split between the 60 or so members. After 5 years you are vested and get your membership fees back if you leave

    Availability is the biggest issue. Our lower tier planes are heavily used (100-150 hours/ month), but the dakotas are fairly available. Seems like about 10 people per plane is a good ratio, our club really needs to buy another trainer.

    If they've been around 50 years, they probably have things figured out. It's good to have some reserves so if something breaks it gets fixed promptly. If they spent the money on a 3 blade prop, it sounds like they are making reasonable updates.

    Sounds like a solid club that should serve you well. It's really nice to have options...172 for fuel efficient training, and the 182 to go places.
     
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  17. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Deal looks solid to me!
     
  18. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Fully agree
     
  19. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Would probably be worth it to see a copy of the financials just to see what kind of reserves they have and the "health" of the not-for-profit. Both of the aircraft have recent Tru-Trak autopilots installed as well, so while they don't seem to go crazy tossing in the latest glass panels in them, at least they haven't been too stingy with reasonable upgrades.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  20. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Might want to ask how overhauls or other large expenses are handled (both expected and unexpected). One would assume the expected expenses are factored into the hourly rate, but always good to ask about large unexpected expenses. Would also be curious if they allow initial training in the planes. If they do, that will impact availability as well as wear and tear and possibly add to the 'unexpected downtime' when a student dings something. As others have mentioned - the kicker will be the availability. 25 folks across two planes could be really good or really bad depending on activity.
     
  21. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Expenses from $2.5K-$15K must be approved by board of directors, anything above $15K must get a majority vote of the members. Aircraft sale/purchase/lease needs 2/3 vote of members. No initial training allowed, all members must have a minimum of Private certificate.
     
  22. masloki

    masloki Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I haven’t seen a note on scheduling limitations. How many reservations can you have active? How many consecutive days and are there minimums per day?

    For comparison, my club is at $60 per month, $150 buy in, ~$80/100/130 per Hobbs on 152/172p/172sp. Limits of 3 reservations and a couple hours per day when overnighting. Planes aren’t hangared so frost season has been a friggin bear, but we have hangar access for thawing them out.
     
  23. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Not sure on scheduling limitations, but I do know that overnights are 2hrs per day. There was some mention about how far out you could reserve and penalties for tying up the schedule with reservations and no flights cancelled when the time came up.
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Our club has a lot of rules about daily minimums, cancellation penalties, and reservations longer than 3 days have to be approved by the board. In reality, it's not a problem, so no one really worries about it. If someone has a bunch of cancellations or is otherwise abusing the system, an officer talks to them. I think most clubs are pretty relaxed, but maybe larger more structured clubs have more issues. Most of the issues we have are student pilots. Once folks graduate to the higher performance airplanes, everybody tends to know each other and it's just not a thing. A lot of that could be that the utilization of the trainers is SO much higher.
     
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  25. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I joined our club 20 years ago it cost me $1200, but when you leave the club you can sell your membership to a new person, so I know that when I leave it will cost that new person at least $1200, which will go to me. We currently play somewhere around $80 a month to cover fixed costs like hangars and insurance, but $20 of that is credited back if you fly that month. All three planes are rented wet, using Hobbs time. The C-172P (least expensive) is $87/hour, the C-172N (180 hp) is $97/hour and the C-182P is $124/hour. All are well maintained, and now all have approach certified WAAS GPSs in the panels. I joined as a student pilot and used a CFI who was not a member of the club. That would still be OK now.

    BTW, that $1200 was equal to the difference between 40 hours in the club's C-172N (same one we have today, only $50/hour wet 20 years ago) and an equivalent time in a local FBO's C-172, so I made it up before I passed my check ride for my PP. Anything I get now would be gravy.
     
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  26. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    My flying club cost $400 membership fee (no refund), $70 a month, and $85 an hour we for a 180HP 172 with a G430 WAAS, 2 G5s with an STEC30 autopilot with altitude hold and GPSS. Not bad. The only thing for me is I have to drive an hour to get there, but worth it for that cost. Pretty easy to schedule, 2 hour a day minimum.
     
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  27. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like a fair deal as far as rates are concerned. However, I would make sure its understood exactly what the $1000 is for. I can’t see that as being an equity buy-in, but the bylaws would explain it for sure. I’m guessing it’s a join/application non-refundable fee. Also, make sure to know what the insurance covers and get supplemental insurance as needed. No basic training, must be private pilot. I like that.
     
  28. DrewG

    DrewG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't have anything to add that is of any value here, other than that sounds like something I'd be all over if SWO weren't a 5 minute drive from my house. I wish something like that was available right here, because the one flight rental outfit/flight school here is constantly booked up. It's hard to work around that. I'm not too keen on adding two hours, round-trip, worth of driving to do just to get up in the air once in a while - but that sounds like a heck of a deal with you being right there in BA.
     
  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Yeah, they're based out of RVS, so it's about a 20 minute drive. Not too bad, but it's realistically the only option for BA since there are no other airports closer than RVS. Haskell (2K9) is a nice-enough strip and has had new hangars recently built with a lot of homebuilt activity going on, but no instrument approaches/night lighting and it's just as far to drive there as well.
     
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  30. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    The by-laws don't seem to indicate that it's a "deposit", so I'm leaning towards non-refundable membership fee. It basically shakes out that if I flew around 7hrs/month for the first year I'd break-even (including $1K fee) with one of the rental outfits on an equivalent carb'd C172 and any additional hours over that just moves the Break-Even sooner. The rental outfits don't have anything more capable to rent than a 172 without going to a Seminole twin trainer @ $250/hr. Having the C182 would be a nice option to have. With the idea of getting started on the IR, I'd be able to rack up the hours pretty quickly I'd think. I still need a boatload of XC time before I start the flight instruction portion, so it seems like a viable option. I will definitely have to evaluate the insurance so that I cover any gaps.