AFC member Peter Dreyer is passionate about flying, flight safety and aerobatics. He strongly believes that flight safety is directly linked to a pilot’s continuing skill building, training and having good “hands and feet skills”. He strongly believes that these skills are more thoroughly developed from training taken on tailwheel aircraft.
Peter owns a 2002 American Champion Citabria through his company, Super D Aviation Ltd. The Citabria is a light 2-seat tandem tailwheel aircraft that is capable of basic aerobatics. The aircraft has a 118hp engine, VFR avionics with GPS, aerobatic harnesses, metal-spar wings and is maintained to a Commercial standard (same as existing AFC aircraft).
Peter wants to give AFC’s licensed member pilots the exclusive opportunity to fly the Citabria in an effort to promote general aviation and to enhance the development of better pilot skills within the club.
It’s proposed that, by lease agreement, the Citabria will be made available for rental to club members through the AFC’s online aircraft booking system at the same rental rates as AFC aircraft ($135/hr).
All ownership and operating costs for the aircraft will be paid for by Super D Aviation. As well, the aircraft will be fully insured under Super D Aviation.
Super D Aviation will provide the AFC with a current list of instructors qualified to give instruction on the Citabria, allowing AFC members the option to select their preferred instructor from the list.
It’s estimated that a checkride on the Citabria can range anywhere from 5 to 20 hours, depending on pilot ability and experience on tailwheel aircraft. Currency requirements after the checkout will be minimum 1 hour per month as required by Super D Aviation.
In return, AFC will:
- Provide secure hangar storage for the Citabria, foregoing hangar rental revenue of about $3300 per year.
- Ensure that AFC members acknowledge their responsibility to conduct flight operations in the Citabria within the safety guidelines of the AFC and Super D Aviation.
- Ensure that AFC members acknowledge their liability for the application of the AFC rules regarding the PIC’s financial responsibility for damage to the Citabria in the event of an accident.
- Consider for admission to AFC membership the application of current members of the Aerobatic Club of BC at one-half normal annual dues rate for the first year only.
Potential Benefits for Club Members and the AFC
- Opportunity to fly an interesting 2-seater aircraft that is affordable, capable and unlike other club aircraft.
- Opportunity to upgrade their “stick and rudder” skills, allowing them to be safer and better connected to the aircraft they fly, regardless of actual type.
- Opportunity to receive instruction on unusual attitudes, upset recovery and aerobatics in an aircraft conveniently located in Abbotsford.
- Opportunity to increase AFC’s membership by bringing in new members interested in flying a tailwheel aerobatic aircraft, offsetting AFC’s hangar storage costs for the aircraft. Only AFC members and the aircraft owners themselves will have access to the aircraft.
The aircraft lease agreement will allow either party to end the aircraft lease on 30 days’ notice.
If agreed upon, the actual formal details of the proposal will be provided and formalised into a written agreement.
- Original Proposal Document presented on Jan 9th GM
- Citabria Pilot Report – Airbum.com
- American Champion Citabria – Wikipedia
- C-GIBY Registration – Transport Canada
- Citabria Aurora Technical Information – ACA
This is a great opportunity for the club. I will check out on the Citabria.
Further to my comments on this subject at our January membership meeting, I suggest that the members look at the Constitution of the Abbotsford Flying Club when considering this proposal. The relevant clauses are:
2. The object of the Society is:
a. to acquire, hold, operate and maintain all kinds of aircraft;
c. to train persons, except ab initio trainees, in the art and science of navigation and in operating all kinds of aircraft;
e. to operate aircraft and other facilities owned, acquired or leased by the Society, to the mutual benefit of all members;
f. to carry out all operations and activities in a manner consistent with, and which promotes the probability of, the sustainability and continuation of the Society;
Clauses 2a, 2c, and 2e, when read together (and re-arranged slightly), clearly state that the objectives of the Club include “owning, leasing and operating aircraft for the purposes of training persons in the operation of all types of aircraft, and to the mutual benefit of all members.”
Clause 2f. identifies two of the factors that the Club should consider in deciding whether or not to proceed with this proposal. The first, and potentially positive factor to consider is whether this proposal would help to expand and sustain the membership of the club. I think it would.
The second, and potentially negative factor that needs to be considered very carefully is whether this proposal presents any unacceptable risks that might impact on the long term “sustainability and continuation of the Society”. That is the due diligence review that was discussed at the January membership meeting.
My own view is that this proposal has the potential to be extremely beneficial to the Club and to any of our members who choose to participate in the opportunity that it presents.
The proposal is to lease an aircraft for the purpose of improving our collective flying skills, and to put in place significant additional training requirements in order to access that aircraft. The additional training should reduce the risks for all of our aircraft as well as for pilots who take advantage of this training opportunity.
I think that the input that the membership should give the Board of Directors at our next meeting is that we support this proposal, in principle, subject to due diligence, including a review of legal, regulatory, and financial implications and other potential risks and liabilities. The membership should identify any and all issues of concern and then leave it to the Board, or a committee appointed by the Board to explore this list of concerns.
“Thankyou” to Mark for posting the excellent summary of the proposal.
I support the proposal, subject to due diligence as Tom has mentioned.
Even with reduced membership fees for their first year, the new recruits from the Aerobatics Club will substantially offset the hangar income we forego. Then in subsequent years their membership dues will more than cover the lost hangar revenue.
My only concern would be if this aircraft took away from the hours flown on our existing aircraft but I think this is not a significant risk. If it does turn out that way, we could use the 30 day cancellation provision.
This is a good, straightforward proposal and I thank Peter for making it.
I support the proposal and will check out and fly the Citabria if we go ahead, but certainly wouldn’t vote against the executive’s wishes!
It should be noted the proposal details provided above are, in my opinion, [b]substantially different [/b] than the proposal submitted to the AFC members.
I caution anyone wishing to comment to first read the original proposal circulated to the AFC members rather than base their comments solely on the information provided above —- unless the proposal has been altered by the proponents.
If the proposal has been changed or modified, then, in my opinion, it should be resubmitted to the BOD and then re-circulated in its entirety to the AFC members in order for the members to be made aware of the changes and question not only how the proposal will affect the good and welfare of the AFC but whether or not it exposes the membership/members to additional risks.
This is a great opportunity for the membership and I look forward to flying the Citabria 🙂
I think this could be a very good opportunity for the club. I would most likely like to participate.
However, I’m curious about the reduction in membership fees for members of the Aerobatics club (AC). The membership fee for the AC is only $30 according to their website. see http://www.bc-aerobatics.com/Aerobatic_Club_of_British_Columbia/Join_the_club.html As far as I know, the AC does not own or lease aircraft. This means that for a $30 investment in the AC, one could save $187.50 at the AFC and have four aircraft available to them (first year only savings). Is it not enough to offer a full $30 credit for members of the AC instead of $187.50? The AFC may never again get full dues in the first year for new members. We may as well reduce our first year fees for all new members.
I have a few more questons…
How many members would be allowed into the AFC via this alternate entry path? Is there a cap on the membership size at the AFC? How many members are there at the AC?
First of all, thank you, Peter, for making such a generous offer to the club. It’s a wonderful opportunity that we have to add such a fun and capable airplane in the fleet at relatively minimal risk and cost.
I personally think that with the possibility of additional members offsetting the storage costs and the 30-day cancellation option, this is a [i]very[/i] good deal and one to consider seriously.
Having spent a little time in a Aeronca Champ (the Citabria’s predecessor) last spring and in Marty’s Cub the year before, it’s simply amazing how engaging it is to fly a stick and rudder tailwheel airplane. I’ve not had that much fun in an airplane in a long time. Yes, I should get out more… 🙂
I added a References section in the summary which includes a couple of links that will help members further understand how fun a Citabria can be.
Regarding the original document presented to the Board and the members at the Jan GM, I’ve included a link to it too for those who want to closely compare.
Essentially, the only significant difference was the clarification that Super D Aviation will carry the airplane on its own insurance rather than that of the club. Otherwise, Peter and Tom have confirmed the summary covers the main points of the offer accurately as originally presented.
So, let’s focus on the spirit of the offer and its main points. It’s definitely worth considering…
Before making comment on this specific proposal, I feel it necessary to voice my opinion about this topic at the last flying club meeting. The level of emotion and, frankly, the rhetoric this proposal received at the meeting was disproportionate at least, and disrespectful at worst.
What I saw presented at the last meeting is an idea that benefits two groups– the flying club and Super D Aviation. But it is simply an idea being “floated”, if you will, to gauge member interest. Concerns such as liability, ownership, and legal and regulatory requirements– while valid– are premature until a majority of the membership agrees the idea is worth pursuing.
On the face of it, then, is an opportunity for Mr. Dreyer to store his Citabria for free, and AFC to receive (I assume) free and unlimited access to an aircraft for roughly $3300 a year. Seen in that light, then, AFC is getting the much better end of the deal.
I’m less positive about the concept that all interested aerobatics club members get a half-price AFC membership. I feel this offer should only be extended to aerobatics instructors on the list… but I am willing to hear counter-arguments on the subject.
Lastly, and with all due respect to Mr. Dreyer, the notion that flying a taildragger will make me a better pilot rings somewhat hollow. It could be similarly argued that having AFC members fly 1 hr/month on any club plane, as is required in the Citabria proposal, would improve skills. Fortunately, the flying club’s safety record has not required such action, and I do not propose it now.
I suspect that taildragger or aerobatic training may be of interest to a limited number of AFC members…. which leads to the classic economic “supply and demand” question: if there is little demand, why supply? That question must be answered before all others.
I have no interest in taking such training at this time, but I have no objection to the idea being raised for discussion by Mr. Dreyer and our club treasurer.
To both you gentlemen, however, may I say I felt somewhat embarrassed by the treatment you received at the last meeting, and applaud you both for handling it as you did. Perhaps future club meetings will demonstrate as much consideration for its members as for its finances…
Sounds like an amazing opportunity for club members to get additional training on a tail dragger aircraft. Having flown a few hundred hours on the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog I can say that flying a tail dragger is some of the most fun flying I have ever done, and to top it off with the chance to do some aerobatic training sounds great!
Is the initiation fee also being waved? When I joined the dues and initiation fee came close to $700. The very next meeting the initiation was reduced to $100 to stimulate membership (I’m not sure what it is now). If I had known I would have waited the few weeks and saved some of what was a limited income.
I do like the idea of the proposal, it is a great opportunity. However, the annual and initiation fee structure being manipulated may leave members with a feeling of inequality or that a level of preference is being given.
There are certain sections of the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations that must be checked to ensure full understanding and compliance with the rules regarding flight training. The following list highlights some of the legislation that must be reviewed to ensure full compliance prior to entering into any legal agreement; The list may not be all inclusive.
1. Lease of the Citabria to the Abbotsford Flying Club as lessee would transfer custody and control of the operation of the aircraft to the AFC, and that may be deemed to be a change of ownership and thus the certificate of registration would be cancelled.
2. This change of ownership would require the aircraft to be subsequently registered to AFC as the owner of the aircraft.
3. The owner of the aircraft (AFC) must subscribe for liability insurance.
4. The lessee (AFC) must support their application for registration with a statement that the lessor (the present owner) will not provide directly or indirectly any flight crew member to operate the aircraft for the duration of the lease.
5. Rental of the Citabria would require the trainee to pay for the rental of the aircraft and that may be deemed to be for hire or reward and thus a commercial air service.
(Aeronautics Act section 3.(1))
6. Training on the Citabria may be deemed to be a flight training service.
7. The operation of the Citabria in a flight training service toward obtaining experience in aerobatic manoeuvres requires compliance with CARs subpart 406.
(section 406.02 (a)(xi))
8. Operating a flight training service in compliance with section 406.02(a)(xi) requires the operation to be in accordance with a Flight Training Unit Operator Certificate.
9. A person who conducts flight training for experience in aerobatic manoeuvres shall have a Flight Instructor Rating – Aeroplane – Aerobatics.
10. The Citabria would need to be maintained as an aircraft in a flight training unit and that would mean that AFC shall establish and comply with a maintenance control system that (a) consists of policies and procedures regarding the maintenance of aircraft operated by the flight training unit; (b) meets the requirements of Subpart 406; and (c) describes that system in their maintenance control manual (MCM).
I would be pleased to discuss further with any and alll club members.
A couple of questions I have asked, and not received answers to.
Why does the AFC need to be involved? If Peter and Super D want so badly to provide an aircraft for AFC members, why does he not do this through his own company. He is already doing some tailwheel training, so why not just expand this, without club involvement.
Has anyone checked to see what minimum experience on type the insurance carrier would demand? It is all well and good for Peter to suggest a 5 -20 hour check out (a rather wide range) But if the insurance company says 25 or more tail wheel hours – not an unlikely amount – then an AFC pilot is looking at a cost of around $5000 for the opportunity of logging some solo tailwheel time. And keep in mind the 1 hour/month requirement. Most AFC members hardly log that on our current airplanes.
What is the actual cost to the AFC. I read and hear words such as ‘nominal’ fee, lease cost, etc. I would not mind flying a Citabria again – back in the day I logged over 30 hours in one (2.7 hour check out!) But I would like to know all details before I vote.
Does anyone have any answers?
Why the option for BC Aerobatic Club members to join at half price? There is no mention of initiation fees. Is this because they would pay them or because they would be waived?
It was my understanding that the initiation fee would be paid. Only the dues would be half price for the first year.
My own preference would be to limit the discount to only waiving the initiation fees and require the full amount for dues to be paid. This would be much more aligned with membership drives in the past when we waived the initiation fee.
Also, the point about the cost of the checkout is one I’ve been wrestling with myself. I’m trying to decide if my money might be better spent working towards upgrading my license using a club plane.
Sorry to bother you guys (gals) again, but another thought and question. If I quit the AFC and join the BC Aerobatic Club, would I be offered AFC membership at 1/2 the normal price, under this proposal?
Mark, regardling check-outs. Assuming the worst with the Citabria and the best on your other choices. You could get your night & float endorsements for the same price as checking out on the Citabria. And with the Citabria there is not even the suggested guarantee that you would ever pass the pre-solo requirements. My feeling is that the average club member will always be “..just maybe one more hour dual” away from solo. My thoughts only, but this is a potential mine field. And in those, one must tread carefully.
As a 26 year member of the AFC, I have a few comments rattling around in my head over this proposal, the way I see it. I do get a warm and fuzzy feeling that Tom and Peter D are concerned about my flying safety. That’s nice. However, thanks to such remarkable people as John Spronk and more recently, Bob Fatkin and others, the AFC has an abundance of safety with a steller record over its 50+ year life. What we lack is “cheap”. The average Club member flies less than 10 hours a year, partly due to the cost. This proposal will do nothing to increase those numbers of hours. Now, if the that tail dragger was offered at $65 an hour, you’d have something. Secondly, I can’t see why members of the Aerobatic club need a donation from the AFC to encourage them to join our great Club? I’m sure they are all wonderful guys/gals and I’d welcome them into the fold–at full fees through established channels. If they’re short the $175, maybe some of our richer members could float them a loan. And as far as aerobatic training is concerned, members are free to go out and find a business that offers aircraft, instructtors and training for that purpose. I don’t like the idea of the AFC completing with those businesses. These guys are trying to make a living in the tough aviation business world. I and others have done just that with float training, tail dragger training and even high-performance training. Hell, in Australia I even got a “constant speed prop” endorsement on my Aussie license. Stuff like that is fun and adds to the general joy of flying. But keep it out of the Club.
Just doing a bit of simple math. To date, less than 10% of our membership have voiced an opinion on this proposal. This is a major decision, for our AFC. So, after the decision is made, please do not complain to me and those of us who hang around the AFC on a Friday evening. You had your chance. Sorry to be abrupt and rude, but as a long-time, paid-up member of the “Call a Spade a Spade” association, I am a bit tired of hearing unvoiced opinions, after the fact.
Clark, your point about cheap flying resonates with me. That”s exactly why I proposed the Aerotrek A240 instead of HXT as our third aircraft. It would have rented for $80/hr too… Oh well…
Hi everyone , just want thank to the club for the opportunity to give us the chance to share our ideas .Now we’ve been wasting so much time with all those meetings where we were trying to find a way to promote and make flying more affordable and members forgot about that and all the time we’ve waste it … It is funny the way everything goes in this days and is so easy when you don’t feel that you spend money out of your pocket and pay so much for refurbishing an old airplane !!!…Now about this proposal… I’ve got a feeling it’s been planned for a while to use AFC for Super D benefits … I have a couple comments about that…if any members want to take any aerobatics lessons , they should go and contact Super D aviation without to get this club sucked inn , remember we are talking about the AFC club and not about each and everyone needs ! Some of the members know the way I am and I always I like to speak out my mind… For whatever reason when you do that you’re considered disrespectful but this is not my intention , the way I see it is that Super D aviation is looking for a back door to promote his business and and provide training at the same time getting the club to provide the logistics ! This to me is called conflict of interest and where I come from this is unacceptable and by doing that this club will turn in to a place where we will not know who is a member or not , people will walk in , hang up the keys and just walk away …just ask your self if this is this the kind of club you want to be part of ! Ok, I know, I better stop here …however I look forward to the next meeting to see members speaking up their mind.
I support the proposal, subject of course to strict compliance with legal issues within cost constraints. The proposals both verbally and written are reasonable and add flying opportunities for club members.
It would tend to slightly dilute usage of existing aircraft, but probably that would be sufficiently offset by a gain in flying membership. We get dilution from other causes too. For example I favour the Archer but have still not yet managed to achieve time in it.
For myself, I thought the Citabria had fallen off the table several months ago and was casting around for tail dragger flying elsewhere. I paid for some in a C140 on Arlington, am looking at the Champ on Harvey and also at Dave Wheeler’s J3 on Arlington. It would be preferable to be able to fly an aircraft locally.
I would use aerobatic training too, if only to feel better when my friend gives me the stick in his RV-6. I did an intro hour in a Robin which was fun and would pay for instruction in Peter’s airplane if it was available. For me, I am not interested in “adding ratings”, only flying for fun. The Citabria could be part of that.
Bob, the aircraft is a ACA Citabria 7ECA and has a 118hp Lycoming O-235 engine fitted. Here are the details from TC below:
Here are the technical details on the aircraft from ACA:
This looks like a good opportunity to fly another aircraft type – with or without arobatics. It will require a significant financial commitment from the club & pilots to stay current & competent in whatever we fly. Is this Citabria really 118 hp or is it 180 hp???
First of all Peter, my hope is that if any of our members are interested in some tail dragger orientation that they will use the services of your company.
My comments below are intended to be in the best interests of the AFC as a whole.
Recently our Abbotsford Flying Club Executive, with considerable input from the members completed a thorough/extensive review of the specific aircraft fleet that they wanted to have & maintain.
In view of the thorough/extensive review just completed, is it the right thing to do at this stage to question the decision/judgment that was made by trying now to incorporate other aircraft namely a fabric tail dragger that had already been specifically excluded as an acceptable option. My thoughts are the club made the correct decision during the thorough/extensive review that was already completed.
The tail dragger fabric proposal – if accepted – would it benefit the Abbotsford Flying Club organization & its membership now & into the foreseeable future? How will we ensure that the tail dragger fabric proposal if accepted will decrease costs to pilots on the existing fleet of Aircraft, the two 172’s & the Piper? I.e. the flying costs on the current fleet for the current membership are already above $150./hr. after taxes?
How does running a training school affect the AFC’s registration status as a not-for profit organization in Victoria?
Should there be lower entrance membership fees &/or lower annual fees for those interested in flying a fabric Tail wheel A/C? No, Why?
What is the additional liability if any to the AFC for the non-members receiving preflight and/or ground instruction within the club? Considerable
As indicated above, the Abbotsford Flying Club Executive, have just recently with considerable input from the members already completed a thorough/extensive review of the specific aircraft fleet that they wanted to have & maintain.
As one who sees spies and crooks under every stone, I have to wonder if the HXT engine debate is a red herring, to take away from this important discussion. While we are submitting inane comments about the 150/180 HP choice, maybe this is some way to slide this past the members? Just asking.
I agree that the club should conduct an appropriate level of due diligence before proceeding. However, if there is a will, I suspect there is a way and this strikes me as simply an opportunity the club can present to members that will allow them to gain some additional experience that will make them better pilots. As such, I support the proposal in principle and thank Peter and the Board for bringing this forward for consideration.
Frankly, the way I see it there are two groups: those who will take the training and fly tailwheel and those who don’t.
For those who won’t, there’s no impact to them at all. None.
For those who do, and spend the money and effort to get tailwheel certified, good on them. Some are of the opinion that it will make them better pilots.
Sure there are safety issues inherent to tail wheel aircraft and their propensity to ground-loop without good ‘stick-and-rudder’ skills. Here is an opportunity for those so inclined to acquire the skills in a controlled environment at a reasonable cost. I challenge anyone to find a Citabria for rent for $135/hr. Hell, for that matter, find a 172 or Cherokee for that cost either.
Our Constitution reads:
[i]2.The object of the Society is:
(a) to acquire, hold, operate and maintain all kinds of aircraft;
(b) to promote flying and aviation in general;
(c) to train persons, except ab initio trainees, in the art and science of navigation and in operating all
kinds of aircraft;
(d) to acquire, hold, lease, manage, or sell real property for the purposes of establishing and
maintaining flying and landing fields, airports, air-harbours, depots and hangars for the care,
housing, reception and dispatch of aircraft for the purposes of the Society and the members
This endeavour meets our core goals very well, and at minimal cost and risk to the Club, as Super D is insuring the aircraft and Peter Dreyer seems to have done his homework.
As Mark T. stated earlier: Some may use the cost to upgrade their licenses to a better rating, others might ‘give it a try’ and get a few hours, and a small number might actually see it through to completion. We would even possibly get a few more fare-paying members as part of the deal too. What’s to lose? We can cancel anytime.
Take the time to read the proposal and make an informed decision.