The Flying Signaleers, Inc.
Aircraft co-owners / a flying PartnershipThun Field (KPLU) Pierce County
Flying Signaleers Inc. is a non-profit airplane partnership. The planes are owned by Flying Signaleers Inc. and operated by the membership with over sight by the club elected board members. One of the missions of the club has always been; passing the leadership, equipment and aircraft on to the next generation of flyers. We are lacated atThun Field / Pierce County Airport (KPLU). As a partnership that began in 1956, this is perhaps one of the oldest flight partnerships in the US.
How to become a partner / co-owner of the aircraft
We offer individual memberships in the club that allow pilots to fly the aircraft at the great hourly rates. We are always looking for additional flying partners. Since this is first and foremost a social flying partnership, each person wanting to be a member has to "fit" well with the existing members and will need to be interviewed by the board.
The first step is to contact us and we'll be happy to arrange a time for you to meet some of the members and kick-off the new member procedure. The existing members come from a range of backgrounds with many years of flying. Some are active professional pilots.
The Flying Signaleers focus on the social aspects of flying. Each member is expected to contribute to ensuring the planes are well kept. The aircraft are reliable and well maintained fleet making frequent flying inexpensive and accessible to the members.
We currently have a Cessna 172K and a 182P. Both aircraft are great performers since we've upgraded to 180hp in the 172 and a 280hp in the 182. That allows the 172 to be a true 4 seater and the 182 has the speed and power to " really go" places.
The planes are hangared at the Pierct County (KPLU) Airport in So Hill Puyallup Pierce County, Washington. We have one hangar with a powered door for access.
Once you have made it through the selection process you can then purchsase a membership which is currently $900 for a restricted membership if you just want to fly a 172. For an unrestricted membership that allows the individual access to both planes the a cost of membership is $1200. With the current roster of members the monthly dues are $120 per member, which covers the fixed costs such as the hangar, insurance, annuals, website....etc. As new members enter the club; the monthly dues will be adjusted downwards to reflect shared cost.
Some pilots have asked "Why the club when I can rent from an FBO for almost the same cost, with no monthly dues?" A few different ways to address this question other than your not a renter but a co-owner. 1) You can come to your own hangar and take out the planes on your schedule day or nite 2) The convenience - take your time to enjoy the experience with out the rush from the next renter 3) No sign in, checkout - paper work. 4) The hourly rates actually could be higher at an FBO, if you rent on a hobbs meter basis. I could list some more but we see a great differance.
In addition to the monthly dues, there is an hourly "wet" rate we pay for the use of each plane. This is the aircraft with fuel. * The rates are plus a state mandatory sales tax. The C-172 is at - $100.00 /hour tach. time and the C182 is set at - $140.00 / hour tach. time. These per hourly rates cover the fuel, maintenance, TBO fund and will have WSST tax added at the time of the monthly billing. At the end of each quarter we have most of the tax returned which we put back into the maintenance fund. The hourly rates are adjusted by the board based based on maintenace / fuel cost plus as the aircraft fly more often the cost are revised. Note on the per hour cost; most FBO rentals and some clubs use the hobbs meter for hourly charges. Hobbs charges tend to be 10% to 20% more in cost for actual time in the 172 and around 5%-10% in the 182. This can be explained further by linking to the Hobbs site above or feel free to contact us. Signaleers Inc. is a non-profit organization and all exess funds collected by the corporation are placed back into the airplanes / equipment. Unlike some clubs; Flyngsignaleers Inc. owns the aircraft, and the hourly rates are used to reimburse the corporation for operatations and maintenance.
* The hourly rates are based on the per gallon fuel cost at KPLU. If fuel costs rise or fall; the club (board) will adust the hourly use rates. This rate formula applies to both aircraft and is based on an average of 8-9 gal. per hour burn for the 172 and a 12 gal. per hour burn for the 182. All cost include tax
You can feel good about taking your friends or family on a trip for the week or just the weekend since the planes may be reserved for up to 15 days without a daily minimum.
You should review the by laws to ensure you understand all the ins and outs of your membership.