Deschutes Flying Club Information

Club History

The exact date the idea of forming a non-profit flying club at the Bend Municipal Airport is unknown as several different people were pursuing the same concept from multiple different directions over the years. But as for the founding of this specific club, in June of 2018 Dan Dawson reached out to Marc Gardner in response to a posting Marc had made on the AOPA Flying Club Finder website about wanting to form a flying club at the airport. 

That initial email introduction lead the beginning of countless conversations and spreading the idea to other local pilots in the area, and soon the foundational group starting meeting together, and centered around Marc's existing Cessna 172, the club started the formal paperwork, became a recognized 501(c)(7) non-profit organization and started recruiting members.

In December of 2022, the club officially started flying and members began getting their checkouts in Marc's Cessna 172, N738MR. The club has maintained its planned aircraft-to-member ratio of 15:1 since its founding.

Early in 2024 the club began pursuing the addition of a Cessna 182 to the club, and as of June 2024 the lease has been signed, the aircraft is insured, and we are just waiting for the final lease for the hangar from the City of Bend and a few finishing touches on the aircraft before new members can start getting their checkouts in that aircraft.

The hope for the future is to continue adding additional aircraft as long as there are enough members and the demand to do so. With the existing C172 and C182, some of the club members are hoping to add a C150/C152 as a lower cost aircraft for local flights and flight training, and over time perhaps a Cherokee 140 or additional C172's will join the club, based on the needs of the members at that time.

How the Club Operates

The club operates as a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization, in summary that means the goal of the club is to keep the cost of membership and hourly aircraft cost as low as possible for its members. The club has no goals of making money, we operate the monthly dues on a "break even" plus 15% basis for unexpected expenses that may come up, limited food and supplies for public events, cleaning supplies for the aircraft, etc. The hourly rates for the aircraft, which are "wet" rates meaning they include fuel, are "break even" plus a 10% margin, again, to cover unexpected expenses, variations in fuel costs, etc.

We schedule our aircraft and pay all dues and rentals through the Flight Circle application, which is available via their website and via a mobile app. Members will receive their login information and instructions on how to schedule aircraft prior to their checkout in the club aircraft.

One of the benefits of flying with a club like this one is the "owner like privileges" that flying clubs provide to their membership, as required by the FAA's guidelines for flying clubs. One of the best of those benefits is that once you have been checked out in an aircraft and are a member in good standing, you can schedule the aircraft yourself through Flight Circle and go to the airport and fly... no matter what time of day it might be. At most flight schools you would need to call the front desk during office hours and schedule the plane first, and arrange an after-hours pickup. With the flying club, if you are seeing the start of a beautiful sunset and decide you want to go do a flight, just get it scheduled online and head to the airport to fly!

If you would like to learn more about the way the flying club operates, we would invite you to view the Deschutes Flying Club Bylaws, and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out with any questions: [email protected]

© 2024 Deschutes Flying Club