Commitment in Small Blocks

For the last few weeks I have been trying to bring pilots who are interested in having a local flying club in Canandaigua together. The net result brought in nine interested pilots, two of which have already either bought or are in the process of buying an aircraft.

Although that’s great news for them, it doesn’t bring my quest to an end. I know the reality is that money talks and poor pilots walk. That’s the truth. It’s also true that I belong to a flying club and if I just get in my car, I can drive and go flying. So what the hell is my problem? Why put energy into this?

Well there is no question that my two minute drive from my place to the airport is far more appealing than driving 45 minutes to Penn Yan. This really comes into play during the winter much more than in the summer.

Social networking is another reason. Penn Yan is nice but there is not much social networking when it comes to small groups. We have a huge July 4th pancake breakfast but that’s and we are all working our asses off during it, so there is no true socializing. My hope was that we could get a dozen people or less and actually have a monthly hanger night that has nothing much to do with money or other big flying club problems. We could actually have friendships and plan things together without having to run an email blitz or a mailing campaign. Big clubs can be cumbersome!

Have fun! Now there’s an idea! We could have fun and take pride in cleaning our aircraft, shopping for updated equipment or helping one another stay current and in the game. There are just too many people to answer to or clear things with in a big club.

Now before you say this guy hates big clubs…for the record I don’t and remain a member with Penn Yan. However, my point is a smaller group of pilots has its perks too and that the needs I outlined might be found in a smaller organization than a larger one.

Obviously with a small group the problem has to do with securing a plane, maintaining it, keeping people current, insuring it, and having a plane that is challenging without being more than the membership wants to deal with.  

It’s not easy but anything worthwhile isn’t easy.