The Daniel Boone Flying Club, based at Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport in Boonville, Mo., was created to encourage and enable the most people to experience the unique joy of flight.
The club, founded in September 2005, was named after Daniel Boone, the American pioneer who emigrated to Missouri, where he spent his last two decades, according to President William Kinney. There are many references to Boone throughout the central part of the state, he added.
Although the club currently has 12 members, it can accommodate an unlimited number, said Kinney. “As a rule, we would like to have about seven to 10 members per plane, and we currently have two planes,” he said.
The club has a 1969 Cessna 172 that was recently re-skinned and painted due to hail damage, said Kinney. “We recently sold our 1963 C182 and replaced it with a 1978 Cessna 182RG. The 182RG has a Garmin 430W and an S-Tec 60-2 autopilot with altitude hold plus long-range tanks,” he said. “The retractable gear gives us all the chance to get a complex rating with one member actively trying to pursue his commercial license. Both are IFR certified.”
The club is set up as a not-for-profit equity membership. “Members buy in for one share. The share price is based on the valuation of the club and its assets, namely the planes,” said Kinney. The current share price is $14,000.
“A member can put in a fraction of the share price and pay an increased monthly due rate that equals the interest on the remaining balance between what they paid in and what a share costs,” said Kinney.
Members pay $130 a month for dues, which covers costs including insurance, hangar fees, annuals, and interest on loans. “If a member chooses to leave, their share is bought back by the club based on the current valuation of the share price,” said Kinney.
Student members can train using the club’s aircraft, said Kinney. “This gives the member an advantage, as we rent based on Tach time and not Hobbs time, thus saving money.”
The club is fortunate to have two instrument flight instructors, with one being a designated examiner, said Kinney. “Both our instructors charge $50 an hour for lessons. We are considering the possibility of adding a Redbird BATD-certified device as part of the club to enhance our training,” he said. “We also think the Redbird may help draw new members.”
Kinney advises new clubs to look at the equity membership concept. “I think is has worked very well and the members all seem content. We had to increase our equity share with the purchase of the C182RG and everyone is content,” he said. “The break-even point in our current arrangement is around three hours a month when compared to trying to rent an equivalent plane.”
The club is also incredibly lucky to have two CFIIs, as they bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and are a continuing source of new potential members, said Kinney. “I have found that there are a lot of former pilots in our community that have given up flying for a number of reasons. These pilots seem to be the harder ones to get back to flying,” he said. “So focus on the new pilots such as myself and keep them interested by keeping costs down.”