Flying Club vs Flight School

If you spend long enough time in general aviation, especially in teaching environment, you are definitely going to hear these two terms above. And if you are thinking about learning how to fly, then you are probably wondering what is the diference between a flying club and a flight school anyways. Well, we will nail this issue here in this post once and for all!

Flying Club: A flying club, just like the name itself, is in fact a club. A flying club could be a private non-profit organization, a for-profit organization, a government or semi-government run organization, or many other unique setups. Typically, a flying club will have members consisting of the following:

  • Aircraft owners
  • Aircaft users/renters
  • Pilots – student pilots, private pilots, commercial pilots, and above
  • Flight Instructors

A flying club also has it’s management, i.e. general manager, president, mechanics, accounting people etc. The basics of a flying club setup is that aircraft owners lease their aircraft to the club, and then rent from the club itself whenever they need to use the aircraft. They can not only rent their own aircraft, but any other aircraft that is available to the members of the club. This increases their selection of the aircraft available to them. The cost of aircraft ownership/operation is subsidized by letting other nn-owner member pilots to rent and fly the club aircraft. The non-owner members pay for the aircraft rental, and most of the times, some sort of membership fee as well. The club aircraft get better rates for insurance, fuel etc as now they are a bulk customer and not individual aircraft. I hope you get the idea of this cost savings, not only for the aircraft owners but also for other renters as well.

Now, there are flight instructor members as well in the club. They make their services available to club members, of course for a fee. If a new member wants to join the club, he or she will definitely need some training. Whether it is training to get a pilot certificate, or just an insurance checkout, the flight instructors (CFI) do the job. And this is how they mak their living, or in most cases, get paid to enjoy and share the love of aviation.

Flight School: A flight school is a business involved in training people how to fly. This is what they do, and this is their expertise. They are usually owned by someone, has a chief flight instructor, and employed flight instructors and other professionals. The flight schools also rent aircraft (in most cases) to renters. Flight schools are usually designed and operated as any other school – i.e. imagine your high school. From the school principal all the way down to the housekeeping staff.

Live Flight Tracking – for free!

Did you know that you can track just about any flight online from your computer? Live? Whether it is a commercial airline flight, or a private training flight, or a buddy flying a flight school or a flying club rental aircraft? And it is FREE!

FlightAware

Did you know that you could track live just about any flight, private or commercial, from your own home computer? Well, FlightAware lets you do just that. And that too for free. You can now use FlightAware to quickly and easily plan & file IFR flight for turbine and piston aircraft.

You do not need to know about probable DPs, STARs, transitions, available routings, or winds aloft. Simply type in the basics of your trip (ident / origin / destination / departure time / number on board) and FlightAware.com will present a list of optimized routings, altitudes, predicted fuel burns, and operational options. Select what suits your mission and click to file.

Background

Founded in March of 2005, FlightAware was the first company to offer free flight tracking services for both private and commercial air traffic in the United States. FlightAware launched public operations in late 2005 and quickly became the most popular flight tracking service in the world. FlightAware’s proprietary flight arrival time algorithms combined with FlightAware’s powerful, intuitive, responsive, and reliable web-based interface yield the most capable and useful flight tracking application and service. FlightAware has offices in Houston and New York.

Always Aware

FlightAware offers live flight data, airport information, weather maps and charts, as well as aviation news to nearly two million users a month. FlightAware also powers operational management and dispatch software, airport FIDS (flight information displays), and provides reporting data to aircraft and airport operators.

Enterprise Commercial Services

Aviation businesses (aircraft and engine manufacturers, charters operators, airlines, airport operators, government) rely on FlightAware’s commercial services division for data analysis, trending, outsourcing of data processing, and finding the answer to tomorrow’s aviation optimization and reliability problems.

FlightAware joins Twitter and Facebook. Also, they have one of the best collection of aircraft photos . I always knew about the Live Flight Tracking service, but just came across this photo collection today. It is totally worth going and checking the album out as well.

FlightAware Squawk

is for sharing aviation news, stories, pictures, and videos. FlightAware members submit the links and then vote to decide which stories are important, interesting, or amusing. The list of popular squawks changes constantly. You can also include a squawk box on your blog or any web page.

Merchandise

FlightAware merchandise is a cool accessory for any FlightAware enthusiast, so feel free buy something if you’re interested although FlightAware isn’t profiting off any of these products, so please do not feel obligated to buy anything simply to support the most popular flight tracking service on the internet.

All merchandise and sales are handled by Spreadshirt, an independent merchant.

Discussion Forum

FlightAware discussion forum is available as well. Lots of good to know information and learn new things.

HAL Pushpak Mk II

The Hindustan HUL-26 Pushpak

was a 1950s Indian two-seat cabin monoplane designed and built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and based on the Aeronca Chief built in Middletown Ohio from 1945 to 1949. The Pushpak was a high-wing braced monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear. Fuselage was built out of metal tubing and covered in fabric, and the wings were made using aluminum ribs on wooden wing spars, then covered in the same fabric. The Pushpak first flew on the 28 September 1958 and was powered by a 90hp (67kW) Continental flat-four engine. Around 160 aircraft were produced for Indian flying clubs for use as basic trainers.

Specifications


Pushpak Manual page

General Characteristics

    Crew: 2
    Length: 21 ft 0 in (6.40 m)
    Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
    Height: 9 ft 1 in (2.77 m)
    Wing area: 175 ft² (16.26 m²)
    Empty weight: 870 lb (395 kg)
    Gross weight: 1350 lb (612 kg)
    Powerplant: 1 × Continental C90-8F flat-four piston engine, 90 hp (67 kW)

Performance

    Maximum speed: 90 mph (145 km/h)

Lockheed Martin releases photos of Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML)

Lockheed Martin recently released photos showing the inside of their new Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML). The Lockheed Martin AML is based on the Gulfstream III business jet and will be used “to tailor advanced sensor combinations to resolve specific military, strategic intelligence and homeland security mission needs.”
The aircraft features a computing capability that supports most commercial operating systems, a radome on the belly of the aircraft with ample volume for a range of sensors, and four workstations. In addition, the AML can process data both onboard and on the ground to accommodate a variety of experiments. While the AML is equipped with a robust suite of sensors as well as wide-band and narrow-band data links, the intent is to rotate sensors as necessary to answer specific requirements. To achieve that goal, the AML incorporates an easily reconfigurable architecture designed to allow different sensors and equipment to be rapidly integrated into the aircraft’s mission systems.
The airborne test bed received its Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday.

“We’ve designed the AML so that we can easily test a myriad of sensors to advance the science and art of correlating diverse types of intelligence – with the goal of rapidly providing high-quality data,” said Jim Quinn, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services-Defense’s vice president of C4ISR Systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

Photos via Flickr
Source: Lockheed Martin