We all learned to fly because we had visions of going places beyond where our cars could comfortably take us. We wanted to avoid the hassle of lines at airports or traffic on the roads. We didn’t like being treated like so much cattle herded into uncomfortable seats and forced to eat bad food. Above all, we wanted the freedom to go where we want when we want.
Then reality sets in. At FBOs and flight schools, planes are often unavailable precisely when we want to fly (a long weekend over the summer). And because they make their money only when the planes are actually flying, they don’t like it when we take a plane and just park it at our destination for a long weekend. So most FBOs/flight-schools impose stiff daily minima. Even if we manage to secure a plane, the wear from all those student pilots banging around in them is apparent. (We all remember what we were like as students, right?). Many flight school aircraft with advanced equipment lack weather subscriptions or autopilots; Useful tools for those cross country flights we want to make.
At PFC we work hard to ensure that each member gets full utility out of their pilot certificate.
First of all, there are no daily minima, and you are allowed to take the plane for up to 12 consecutive days at a time (including one weekend).
Second, we limit the ratio of active members per airplane to ensure excellent availability. Even in peak flying season (the summer months), only a couple of weeks of advance planning is all that is usually required to make sure that you have a plane for that weekend getaway. Often, same day bookings are possible. We use Schedule Master to automatically manage reservations. Up to four reservations are permitted per member with no penalties for cancellations and the ability to reserve for over a year in advance. We are happy to let you see our scheduling system to check availability for yourself.
Third, our entire membership takes good care of our fleet, and our maintenance team works hard to ensure excellent dispatch reliability. No renters or student pilots are abusing our aircraft, only joint owners who recognize the need to take good care of what we jointly own.
At PFC, we are truly free to go where we want when we want within the bounds of our ability as pilots and the capabilities of our aircraft. And lest you wonder just how far a Cessna can really go, some of our members routinely fly to Canada. Our 182’s have also been used for public benefit work in Haiti and a cross country flight to California.