Frequently Asked Questions

How old is the club?

The Club was founded on March 15, 2013. Founder Ed Murray began research on the idea in late November 2012 and filed the paperwork to form an LLC in January 2013. The club purchased and brought home its first airplane on March 15, 2013. For more information about the formation of the club, please see the AOPA article "Now Taking Off: 51st Aero Squadron Flying Club".

When are the Club Meetings held?

Club meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every even month (Feb, April, June, Aug, Oct, Dec) at 6pm.  Meeting location notices are sent at least five days in advance - including Virtual Meetings (Zoom Calls).

What are the costs associated with club membership?

New members are required to pay an initial buy-in of $1250. The recurring dues are currently $100/month. Monthly dues commence the first month after and individual joins the club. We encourage each member to pay their dues via our website at the beginning of each month. Several options are provided for making various payments. You may setup a recurring monthly payment that is automatically executed each month or you can manually pay your dues in 1, 3, 6 or 12 month increments.

See our Membership Page for more information.

What do the monthly dues cover?

Our monthly dues are used to cover the club's “fixed expenses” that come due each month regardless of whether the airplane is flown or not. These expenses include our note on N36491, insurance, hangar fee, property tax, subscription fees for the GNS430 database, FlightSchedulePro, etc.

How do I join the club?

Typically, prospective members will contact/meet with one or more of the club officers to discuss the details of becoming a member of the club. Prospective members are encouraged to attend one of our club meetings as well to meet and introduce yourself to other club members. If you decide to pursue club membership, you must complete the Membership Application form.

How do I get keys to use the plane?

Each Club member is provided with their own personal set of keys to the airplane.

If I cannot fly for several months, do I still have to pay the monthly dues.

If a member encounters personal issues that they feel will make them unable to satisfy their financial obligations to the Club, they can apply to be placed in an “Inactive” status and dues are not required. Inactive members do not have flight privileges and must make application to the Club Manager for this status.

Do I need to have a non-owners insurance policy?

Club members do not need to carry “non-owners” insurance to operate Club aircraft. The Club’s insurance policy is made out to the Club as a whole and each individual member is covered by our policy.

How are aircraft, instructors and other resources scheduled?

The club subscribes to Flight Circle, an online scheduling service. Once you become a member, you will receive a Flight Circle account where you can reserve aircraft, instructors and misc. aviation equipment.

I want to obtain my Private Pilot's license. Does the club offer flight instruction?

The Club was founded to achieve a number of objectives including the capability to offer primary flight training to student pilots. Club aircraft are insured to allow for student training and the Club has several certified flight instructors. Please see our Flight Training Page for more information.

Where can I get the training materials?

Instructors may have differing preferences for training materials. Once you have joined the club and determined your flight instructor, they will offer suggestions on which materials they prefer you to use. Purchasing of training materials is the responsiblity of the student pilot.

Can I use any flight instructor of my choice?

No, members can only receive training instruction from approved flight instructors.

Where can I get a FAA Medical Exam

Club members can provide recommendations for AMEs, but a full list can be found here: FAA Medical Examiner Locator

Note: The FAA has also implemented the BasicMed Rule.  For more information on BasicMed, click here.

Can I train for and obtain an instrument rating?

The Club's aircraft and instructors are fully IFR certified. As long as you meet the FAA's requirements, you can train for and obtain an instrument rating.

Can I carry passengers?

Club members are allowed to carry passengers; however, the Club member must occupy the pilot’s seat and a weight and balance calculation should be performed for all flights. We maintain a weight and balance calculator program on our Resources Page.

Can I take the plane out for a weekend flight?

Yes, the airplane is available for weekend flights. We do not impose any minimum per day flight time requirements. If a club member does take the airplane out for a weekend trip, it is their responsibility to return it to the Bessemer Airport. VFR limited pilots should be especially careful with their flight planning so as not to be “weathered in” and unable to return the airplane within their reserved time frame.

How do I cover the cost of fuel purchased away from Bessemer (KEKY)?

When a club member must purchase fuel while away from KEKY, they are required to provide a receipt via email to the club treasurer. When paying for your flight, the cost of the fuel is subtracted from the total rental cost of your flight.

Are the aircraft hangared?

Each of our aircraft are hangared and secured with combination locks.  

Do you perform 100 hour inspections on the plane?

In addition to the requirement for the annual inspection we also perform 100 hour inspections on the airplane. We also perform 50 hour oil/filter changes as well as routine oil analysis tests.

Is the Garmin 430 IFR database current?

We maintain a current IFR database on the Garmin GNS 430.

Is the Garmin GNS 430 WAAS certified?

The Garmin GNS 430 in N36491 is not WAAS certified.

Is N36491 ADBS compliant?

Our Piper Archer, N36491, is not currently ADSB compliant. The “ADSB out” requirement does not become mandatory until Jan 1, 2020. We are monitoring the avionics industry for continuing developments in this technology and will implement a solution when we feel the time and technology is right for our operations.