Welcome to Southeastern Minnesota Flying Club (SEMFC)!

More details regarding the following topics (and others) can be found in our Bylaws, Flying Regulations and Administrative Policy, found on our Forms and Documents page of this website. Where there is a conflict between this page and one of those documents, those documents become definitive.
 

(Click on a question below to show/hide the answer)

Expand All | Collapse All

Q:What are the club's guiding principles?

We take absolute pride in safety, capability, performance, and cost.

SAFETY
Our number one objective is to provide the best safety margin that we reasonably can for our members. From working with our insurance company and owner type clubs to establish our training and flying regulations, to the process we have in place for maintaining our aircraft, safety is always the utmost consideration.

CAPABILITY:
Our Archers and C172 are fully IFR equipped with Garmin 430 or 530 WAAS GPS systems. One of our Archers is equipped with a 2-axis autopilot; the other with a single axis. Our Cirrus, as you might expect, is also fully IFR equipped, including full glass panel, dual Garmin 650 GPS systems, DFC90 Digital autopilot, airframe parachute and TKS ice protection.

In the past, we have owned tail draggers and light sport aircraft, part of our flexibility and effort to provide the capability that our membership wants.

PERFORMANCE:
We are one of the few clubs that own a Cirrus. The Cirrus SR20 model was the first aircraft to earn FAA certification in many years (1998). The SR22 model, which SEMFC owns, was first certified in the year 2000, making it one of the most modern general aviation aircraft in the world. In addition, its airframe parachute makes it one of the safest. It is a 4-place aircraft that has a max cruising speed of 183 KTS.

COST:
Our objective, from the day the club was formed in 1958, has been to provide the safest of flying at the most reasonable cost. That objective continues to be a top consideration in every discussion involving membership fees, monthly dues and aircraft hourly rates. We think we have been successful in the past, and continue to be. Don't take our word for it; compare us to other flying clubs!
 
Q: Can I get my private pilot license at SEMFC?

YES!

There are some subtle, but very important, differences between a flight school and a flying club. Such differences may include rates, insurance, taxes, liability, etc.., all of which are beyond the scope of this answer. It is important to know that SEMFC is a flying club, not a flight school.

Having said that, becoming a member does provide you an economical way to earn your private pilot certificate. A number of our club members are also Certified Flight Instructors and are available to instruct other club members for both primary instruction and additional certificates and ratings. You can also use a flight instructor who is not a member of the club. You can also choose your preferred trainer (except for the Cirrus). You don’t need any flight experience to become a member. We will help you through the entire process.

 
Q: Can my family fly too?

YES!

We have a family member program. Family members flying under a primary membership can be added for half the monthly rate of the primary member.

 
Q: How do I join?

A new club member joins the club by completing an application, providing a non-refundable deposit and purchasing a single refundable share of the club. Every new member will receive a thorough orientation from a board member, covering such topics as scheduling an aircraft, important club rules, using an aircraft and the responsibilities that go with that, etc..

Type Initial Fee Monthly Dues Comments
Student $200 fee plus $762.50 for a share of the club. $71 This type of membership is allowed to choose their preferred trainer from the club fleet, with the exception being the Cirrus. This membership type is available only to student pilots.
Full $200 fee plus $762.50 for a share of the club. $71
Family $200 fee plus $762.50 for a share of the club for the primary member.  $25 for each family member after the primary member. $71 for the primary member plus $35.50 for each family member Only the primary member buys a share in the club; other family members do not have to pay for a share, but they do not vote. See the bylaws for details.

Note: The membership share is refundable upon resignation from the club, minus any outstanding amounts that are owed to the club (for membership fees, aircraft reservations, etc. not yet paid).

 
Q: How is the value of a share determined?

The value of a share is roughly based on the value of the flying club assets, divided by the number of members. Every few years, the value is recalculated, but only affects new members. The shares held by existing members are never adjusted.

 
Q: How available are the aircraft?

Aircraft availability is excellent and keeping it so is one of our club's primary objectives. We listen carefully to our membership and let them tell us if this becomes a problem. On the infrequent and rare occasion that this has occurred, the club has shown the ability to adapt and bring availablilty back up to acceptable levels within a reasonable timeframe.

SCHEDULING POLICY:
We use aircraftclubs.com for scheduling aircraft. Both mobile and desktop versions of the scheduler are available for you to use 24/7. For an overview of features provided by the aircraftclubs scheduler, please go to their Features website section.

Some of the features of this scheduler further assist us in our goal to maximize availability, such as the ability to create standy schedules and be notified automatically if a primary schedule is cancelled or shortened.

 
Q: What happens if I decide to resign? Also, does the club have a process for temporarily suspending membership, if needed?

When you decide to leave the club, you simply notify a board member and return your airport access badge to the RST administration office. Your resignation date is the date the club is notified by the airport that you have returned your badge. At that time, the club treasurer will issue you a check for the value of your refundable share, minus any outstanding debts you may have to the club.

We also have a process for accepting requests to go temporarily inactive. However, the acceptance is at the discretion of the board. There have to be extenuating circumstances (military deployment, for instance) and the requesting member must be inactive for a minimum of 6 months.

 
Q: What is the structure of the club?

Southeastern Minnesota Flying Club is a not-for-profit flight club. The club owns the aircraft and leases the hangars from the FBO. Each member has purchased a share in the organization, and as such owns a proportional interest in the club’s assets. As a shareholder in the club, you are an aircraft owner!

The club’s operation is governed by its bylaws and flying regulations.

Operation of the club is directed by a board of directors (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) who are elected annually. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club and have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the membership, within defined constraints.

 
Q: How often, and where, does the club meet?

The club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the year to review the operation of the club and discuss issues affecting the club, including safety. Monthly attendance, while not mandatory, is strongly encouraged. Prospective members are encouraged to join us, as well. Subject to change, the meeting times and locations as of November, 2015 are as follows.

During the winter months, when the hangars are cold, the meetings are held indoors starting at 7:00PM and go for about an hour.

During the summer months, the meetings are held at the club hangars at the Rochester Airport, along with an occasional BBQ; airplane washing starts at 6:00PM, the BBQ about 6:45, and the meeting about 7:15. The meetings are held to an hour or less when combined with a BBQ.

 
Q: How is maintenance handled?

Our Vice President is responsible for overseeing all maintenance on our aircraft. Additionally, each aircraft is assigned a maintenance officer to oversee some of the FAA allowed maintenance tasks, arrange for squawks to be resolved, and arrange for any 3rd party certified aircraft, power plant and/or avionics work to be completed. The club makes every effort to limit the number of maintenance shops/technical personnel that work on our aircraft as we believe familiarity with each aircraft is paramount to obtaining the highest level of safety.

 
Q: Do I need insurance?

Each member is insured by the clubs insurance policy.
Liability and Property Damage Coverage Limits– $1,000,000 per incident; $100,000 per passenger.
Hull Coverage- Insured for the full (estimated) value; $5,000.00 deductible in motion; $5,000.00 deductible not in motion

Each member is responsible for covering the deductible should they damage an aircraft.

Additional insurance can be found (outside the club) if a member desires to extend the liability coverage or help a cover the deductible, if so desired.

 
Q: What kind of aircraft does the club have and what are the checkout requirements?

The aircraft we own as of Fall of 2015:

  • Cessna 172
  • 2 Piper Archer IIs
  • Cirrus SR22 GTS

Aircraft checkout requirements are a combination of requirements of both club self-imposed and insurance company requirements, and are subject to change. They also vary from aircraft to aircraft. When the club had a Cessna 182, it had special checkout requirements due to its high performance nature. Our recently sold Flight Design CT had special checkout requirements due to its light sport designation.

As of Fall 2015, the current requirements are as follows.

CESSNA 172:
  1. Any Club Member maintaining a private or more advanced Pilot Certificate, or
  2. Any Club Member maintaining a Student Pilot Certificate also meeting the requirements defined in the “Student Pilot Club Member” section of these rules.
PIPER ARCHER IIs:
  1. Any Club Member maintaining a private or more advanced Pilot Certificate with a minimum of 100 hours Pilot in Command, or
  2. Any Club Member maintaining a Student Pilot Certificate also meeting the requirements defined in the “Student Pilot Club Member” section of these rules.
CIRRUS SR22 GTS:

Any Club Member maintaining a private or more advanced Pilot Certificate with an Instrument Rating who has:

  1. Completed a checkout in the C172 or Archer II, and
  2. A minimum of 250 hours Pilot In Command, and either:
    1. 25 hours Pilot In Command of an aircraft with retractable landing gear, and
    2. 10 hours Pilot In Command in the same make and model
  3. or:
    1. 10 hours of dual flight instruction with a Club Flight Instructor in the same make and model including at least 15 takeoffs and landings.

 
Q: Does the club have other resources that are made available to its members?

The club has the following additional resources for use by its members:

  • iPad, loaded with ForeFlight Pro (reserved via aircraftclubs scheduler)
  • Stratus 1S ADS-B receiver (reserved via aircraftclubs scheduler)
  • Approach and sectional paper charts (checked out from our office at the airport)
  • Headsets, for new student pilots just getting started

 
Q: How do the costs of the club flying compare with area rentals?

If you fly more than a few hours a month, you’ll come out ahead compared to renting. Your savings start to multiply the more you fly. In addition, you pay no minimum hourly time for overnight, extended, or cross-country trips.

There is quite a difference in the quality of the General Aviation experience when you own the airplane compared to renting. SEMFC is not like an FBO. When a member flies a club airplane, he or she is flying the airplane they own! There is no worry about returning keys, the club planes are available 24/7 every day of every year.

In addition, you will not find aircraft this well equipped available for rent anywhere in Minnesota.

 
Q: What about assessments?

We budget for fixed (insurance, hangar rental, etc.) and operating (scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, overhauls, etc.) expenses. The fixed expenses are funded via the monthly member dues, while the operating expenses are funded by the per hour rates charged for the aircraft. As a result, member assessments are rare, most often due to unusual circumstances. When assessments are necessary, the membership as a whole is required to approve, per the voting process outlined in our by-laws.

Expand All | Collapse All

 

Last updated 06Nov15 by RMacrafic.