The Eight Ball Flying Club

The Eight Ball Flying Club

By Fred “Crash” Blechman0304053_1.jpg

You want to learn to fly, or you want to fly for pleasure, and occasionally on business, but you don’t need an entire plane, or the cost and time required to maintain. And you like hanging out with other pilots. Why not join a flying club?

The Eight Ball Flying Club at Van Nuys Airport is a California non-profit corporation, operated by volunteers, which has been in continuous operation since 1954. The club presently owns and operates a 1969 Cessna 182 and a 1979 Cessna 172, both IFR equipped.

The 172 flies about 400 hours a year, and the 182 about 300. The hourly wet rate (fuel included) is $50 an hour for the 172 and $70 an hour for the 182. Flying time is measured on the tachometer (tachometer time is about 80 percent of the engine-running time). This makes an attractive rate for training and for IFR flying where pre-takeoff delays are common.

The Eight Ball Flying club offers full membership shares for $1,600, which provides access to both aircraft. Right now, the club, which limits membership to assure excellent aircraft availability, has about 20 members; there are four memberships available. If a member decides to leave the club, the membership share can be sold to a qualified applicant. Monthly dues of $70 cover fixed costs of insurance, tie-downs and taxes.

The club offers the camaraderie of a group of safety conscience and dedicated pilots. Each member is expected to donate 12 hours a year to light maintenance, such as washing the planes. This contributes directly to flying safety by making the members more aware of the aircraft and their systems. Each new member is flight checked by the club CFI; instruction for advanced ratings and bi-annual flight reviews are available for a nominal cost.

All club members and guests are invited to informal meetings held on the second Tuesday of each month at a member’s home.

Recently, the club elected new officers; they are David Bernstein, replacing Dan Sheehy as president; Jill Brookhart, vice president; Kent Yarnell, treasurer/training; David Rose, secretary: Kelly Bakst, safety officer; and Rudy Sanders, maintenance officer.

For further information, visit the club website at [].