Training is over, you have already flown by yourself, done all your hood training, finished your night training and you have even completed your cross-country work. Yesterday you have passed your checkride and you are officially a pilot. What a great feeling, but what do you do now?
Now is the perfect time to choose a flying club and share some of your expenses with your friends. Since you are a pilot, you probably have friends that are also pilots, which is a great advantage. Even if you don’t, you can make some friends in the industry by joining a flight club. Unless you have a large amount of capital, going at it alone may cause you to miss out on some of the great things a pilot can experience.
Sure, you will find good friends when you join a flying club, but there are other benefits, as well. You will be provided with ongoing educational training, enthusiasm, confidence and the ability to move forward with your future in the air. There are hundreds, if not thousands of great flight clubs out there and you can find them quite easy online.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to fly professionally or for recreational purposes, a flying club can provide you with many things you need. Most of the clubs for pilots only cost around $40 to $60 annually, which isn’t much for the opportunities they will provide. You will most likely meet once a month or every other month with the rest of the members to shared knowledge on new FAA regulations, airports and you may even find opportunities to fly cross-country with other pilots.
This is also a great way to network and make connections that could lead to career opportunities in the future. Many of the most sought after pilot positions are never advertised. They are filled though somebody knowing somebody else and making the connection. A flight club could be that connection you need today or years down the road.
Pilots are not the only ones that join flying clubs. You will also meet owners of aircrafts, non-pilots that love to fly, airline owners and those that rent out private planes. The possibilities are endless and since you are a pilot, you will be someone that other pilots and non-pilot members will want to speak with and get to know.
It could be as simple as visiting the airport you plan to fly out of the most and asking if they have a flight club that meets regularly. Most will be happy to have you sit in on a meeting or two before you join, just to make sure it is a good fit for you. Even though the economy and fuel costs have hurt the aviation industry some, there are still many individuals that love to fly and many flight clubs helping their members achieve their goals.
You will need to be active at the meetings and make yourself known to the other members. This can open doors you may not have even known existed and can have a positive effect on your flying career. Whether you plan to fly privately, solo, commercially or in any other way, a flight club is a great way to get in with a group of like-minded individuals with similar goals.