|Weekend Trip to Martha’s Vineyard|
|Aircraft Time (3 Hrs)||$360||$450|
|Daily Minimum (5 Hrs/Day)||$0||$1,050|
|40 Hrs||60 Hrs|
And that is just for the aircraft. Our club approved CFIs charge market rates (typically $40-50 an hour), which is typically significantly less than the hourly rate of instructors charged by flight schools. After all, our instructors don’t have to worry about things like paying for fancy office space or support staff. And you get the satisfaction of knowing that every dollar that you pay goes into the pocket of the instructor—the person who actually earned it.
How can we do this? First of all, we are a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to make flying as affordable as possible to our members. We don’t aim to turn a profit, and charge only what it actually costs to maintain a well-equipped, well-maintained, and safe fleet. Second, we all pay what we charge, so we all work hard to keep those costs as low as possible. Almost all of the work (with the exception of actual maintenance) of keeping a fleet like ours running efficiently is done in-house. Everything—researching upgrades, establishing good working relationships with maintenance shops, shopping for insurance, billing and financial management, keeping our GPSs up to date, ordering supplies, doing the yearly wash and wax, etc.—is done by member volunteers. Third, we have zero overhead—no staff, no fancy offices, no benefits or retirement accounts to fund—just the actual cost of flying our fleet.