Benefits of Membership
The Ann Arbor Flyers is one of the oldest aviation clubs in the country, having been in continuous operation since its inception in October of 1940. This accumulated experience and history allows us to provide a unique set of benefits to club members.
We pride ourselves on setting high standards for flight safety, pilot proficiency, and proper care and maintenance of our equipment. Members of the club are equity owners in a fleet of modern, well-equipped aircraft and have access to primary and advanced training through authorized club flight instructors.
Meetings. Bi-monthly meetings are held to both handle club business and to provide opportunities for learning. Invited speakers and club instructors present programs of wide interest. Everyone is welcome to attend the public meetings.
Diversity. Our membership is composed of a diverse group of women and men, ranging in age from 20s to 80s, and spanning the breadth of aviation experience from beginning students to veteran airline pilots.
Field Trips. Occasionally the club arranges field trips to to sites of interest to pilots and aviation buffs.
Annual Banquet. Every March we have an annual banquet for members, their families, and honored guests. We’ll invite a guest speaker to join us and give an aviation-themed talk, which will be of interest to both pilots and non-pilots.
Maintenance. We regularly get together to wash and wax each of the planes. Also, during annual inspections, interested club members can participate in limited and supervised ways to both help out and to gain an understanding of the inner workings of our airplanes.
Freedom. As an aircraft owner you have the keys to the hangar. You are free to come and go as the aircraft’s and your schedules allow. There are no daily minimum charges and out of town trips of up to thirteen days in length are encouraged (certain simple restrictions apply). The club size has a capped membership to assure reasonable access to the aircraft.
Instruction. Club instructors, who are themselves members, have the option of offering instruction to other members. Club instructors are CFIs and CFIIs and are Club-approved. Club instructors are not simply trying to “build time” but are truly interested in pilot education.
Online Scheduling. Members can easily schedule their aircraft time on the internet using a web browser or a mobile app.
Rates. Charges for aircraft use are “wet” rates (i.e., include fuel) and based on tachometer time rather than hobbs time (see FAQ discussion). Tach time is a fairer representation of aircraft use and wear and encourages pilots to cruise economically.
Insurance. Full insurance coverage is included for all club members — you need not purchase any additional “renters insurance” to fly club aircraft.
Equity. Club members are equity share owners of modern, well-equipped, and well-maintained aircraft. All club planes are comfortably outfitted for cross-country IFR flight.
Economy. As a nonprofit organization, all revenue from flying stay in our own pockets. This, combined with generous volunteer efforts by club members, keeps expenses to a minimum. Over seventy-five years of sound, future-oriented planning and operation have resulted in the long-term financial stability of the club.
Prospective members are often interested in the availability of a club's aircraft. Ann Arbor Flyers limits club membership and allows full access to all of our aircraft. In addition, we allow guest access to our scheduler so you can monitor aircraft availability before you join! Request guest access to our flight scheduler now.
New Applicant Checklist
Submit the application form and the application fee ($220 for Archer intro flight, $292 for Saratoga intro flight) to Ann Arbor Flyers, 801 Airport Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108.
Obtain a 3rd Class (or better) medical certificate. Names of FAA medical examiners can be obtained here: http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/.
The Vice President meets with you to review the aircraft and arranges a meeting with the membership committee. The committee reviews your paperwork and discusses your goals and objectives. Additionally, this is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the club or the requirements of membership.
Complete an introductory flight with a club instructor in a club airplane. This is not a checkout for existing pilots but is an opportunity for the club to assess your attitude and flying skills.
The membership committee and the club instructor will make a recommendation regarding your application. Finally, your membership will be placed before the club members for approval by a majority vote.
After an affirmative vote you will be required to pay the Treasurer your equity share.
Arrange a meeting with the Flight Supervisor for an orientation session at the airport. You will be given your keys to the hangars and briefed on the club operating procedures. The flight supervisor can also provide a list of club instructors and discuss how to get checked out in the aircraft you wish to fly. Instruction fees are negotiated with and paid directly to the instructor.
$220 or $292 — A one time fee associated with processing the membership application. Of this fee $100 is non-refundable after acceptance into the club and is committed to set up the member accounts, establish aircraft reservation privileges, secure the hangar key, etc. The second portion is one hour of flight time in the aircraft used for the introductory flight — $120 for an Archer, $192 for the Saratoga.
$3,500 — Purchases a share of the aircraft owned by the club. Your equity is fully refundable to you if you leave the club provided you have been a member in good standing for not less than one year.
$135 — Covers the fixed costs of aircraft ownership, such as insurance, hangar rental, annual inspections, licenses, etc.
Full insurance coverage is included for all club members — you need not purchase any additional "renters insurance".
Hourly flight charges
Aircraft usage charges are determined from actual flight time only - there are no daily or weekly minimum charges. All rental rates are "wet" (i.e. include fuel) and you can be reimbursed for fuel purchased off-field. Time is based on Tach (engine tachometer) time, which is typically 10 - 15% lower than the Hobbs meter (battery master on) time, which is more typical for aircraft rentals elsewhere.
Fees and dues are subject to change. These amounts are current as of October 1, 2019.
What must I do to join?
See the New Applicant Checklist
How likely is it that I would find an aircraft available when I want it?
The club tries to strike a good balance between number of active members and number of planes. There generally is not an issue getting an aircraft, particularly if you reserve it well in advance.
May I use the aircraft for a multi-day cross-country?
Any given check-out of an aircraft may not cover more than 3 consecutive weekend days. The longest trips this policy permits would be 13 days and extend either from a Sunday to the second Friday or from a Monday to the second Saturday.
There are no lower- or upper-limits on the number of engine hours for a cross-country.
What happens after I become a member?
As a new member the Flight Supervisor will give you an orientation session at the airport to make sure that you know where everything is and understand the procedures the Club uses for reservations, taking and returning aircraft, and any other general information you will need. If you are already a pilot, you must be checked by a Club instructor in each type of aircraft you wish to fly prior to serving as PIC. If you are not already a pilot, the Flight Supervisor will let you know who the Club Flight Instructors are, so you can use one for your basic flight training. As a member you are expected to attend the membership meetings, which are held quarterly in the basement of the KARB Airport Terminal Building. You will receive an itemized bill each month by email.
Do I need to purchase my own insurance coverage? What coverage does the club carry?
The club carries insurance on all the Club’s aircraft and Club members flying the Club’s aircraft. This is provided to you as part of your membership. For details on exact coverage limits, contact a club officer. As part of the process of joining, you will need to fill out a form regarding your flying history (i.e., ratings, hours, history, etc.) that will be submitted to our insurer.
Does the Club have proficiency/currency rules beyond the requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations?
Yes. The club puts a high emphasis on safety, proficiency, proper care and maintenance of the equipment and participation in the Club itself. In order to fly Club aircraft, a member must comply with all FARs and:
Receive one hour of dual instruction from a Club Instructor annually,
Satisfy the additional club requirements for night flight,
Attend at least one in every three membership meetings, and
Comply with the Club's Operating Procedures, which are designed to make the Club a pleasure for all members.
Are there restrictions on where and when I may fly?
In general, most flight requirements can be accommodated. There are, however, Club rules concerning: night flight, flights over water, flights over foreign land, approved airports, trips of over four hours air time, trips whereby the aircraft will be away overnight and advanced bookings. The Club’s Operating Procedures should be consulted for additional information.
How does the club financially plan for the acquisition of new aircraft?
Funds are set aside in advance to replace aircraft as they age. Historically the club has purchased used aircraft midway through their first engine and replaced them midway through the second engine. These replacement revenues are generated from a balance of equity charges and income from hourly flying charges.
Are the aircraft rental rates "wet" (includes fuel) or "dry" (you pay for fuel)?
All our hourly rental rates are "wet"; that is, the rate includes the fuel you use. You will be reimbursed for fuel purchased off-field up to the current fuel price at ARB.
How does Tach time compare to Hobbs time?
Aircraft time is based on Tach time rather than Hobbs time. We believe this is a fairer representation for one’s use of the aircraft. For local flights Tach time is generally less than Hobbs time. For cross-countries the comparison will depend largely on the cruise power settings you choose.
Where are the aircraft hangars?
The Ann Arbor Flyers' aircraft are all hangared at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport in an area known as the “Northeast T-Hangars” (or “Northeast T’s”) off of Airport Drive. These hangars are behind secure gates. Each club member has a key to the hangars as well as a club room used for flight planning. Please see the map.
How/where do I refuel the aircraft?
The Ann Arbor Flyers has a relationship with Solo Aviation, an FBO at the airport. When you return and hangar the airplane, you will call them immediately if they are open, or first thing the next morning if they are closed for the night. Solo Aviation has keys to our hangars. You will likely want to be present when the Saratoga is fueled to make sure only the inner tanks are filled.
How do I maneuver the planes into and out of the hangars?
Generally the Archers can be maneuvered with a tow bar attached to the front gear by one larger person or with the help of a second person. There is a battery-operated tow if one needs it in hangar B5, which holds 419W. The Saratoga has its own battery-operated tow in its hangar (D5) given its larger size.
How are payments handled?
You will receive a monthly invoice for your dues and aircraft usage minus any credits you’ve earned. The terms are “NET 15”. You will send a check to the club’s mailing address. At this time the club does not take credit cards or electronic transfers for payments.
Where can I get more information?
Email us at: email@example.com
Or write to:
Ann Arbor Flyers
801 Airport Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48104