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Skyhaven Flying Club : Elevating Rochester-Area Aviation

By Allison Wilson

Rochester aviation enthusiasts can pursue their passion at great heights by joining Skyhaven Flying Club. This non-profit general aviation flying club has been in existence since 1936 and possesses a fleet of two IFR-equipped aircraft: a 1975 Cessna 172 "Skyhawk" and a 2007 Cirrus SR20 GTS.

Based at Skyhaven Airport in Rochester, Skyhaven includes members of all aviation skill levels and proficiencies. All of them share the desire to continue to learn about aviation- and to pass that knowledge on to future aviators.

"Our members, approximately 47 in number, are certificated private pilots at a minimum, with many members holding other ratings and endorsements including instrument flight (IFR), commercial, multi-engine, air transport and certified flight instructor (CFI) ratings," says Steven Hyde, President of Skyhaven Flying Club.

"The club is a popular choice among aviators in the greater Rochester and Seacoast areas. Many members waited months or even years in an applicant pool for a 'seat' to open up so that they could join. The desire for membership has dictated the continuation of the club for nearly 80 years."

The club is funded by its members' monthly dues, new member joining fees, and payment for flight time per hour. Each Skyhaven aircraft hangar walk-through door is equipped with a combination lock allowing 24-hour access to club members. Club aircraft are scheduled through the use of Schedule Master, an interactive internet and telephone scheduling service. In addition to providing access to the aircraft and hangars, Skyhaven promotes safety, recurrent training, and new ratings; participates in safety seminars; and even hosts spot-landing contests with cookouts every summer.

Members can add to their private pilot certificates by obtaining an IFR through the club's CFIs, however as a general rule, the Club does not undertake the primary training of pilots.

"As a member of the Skyhaven Airport community, the Skyhaven Flying Club chose not to compete with the various FBO operators and Flight Schools at Skyhaven," Hyde says. "Additionally, primary flight training is, by its nature, very time intensive, requiring a lot of flight time to master basic skills. The club has found that primary training often interferes with our members' relatively easy scheduling and use of the aircraft on a regular basis."

Hyde recommends that anyone interested in obtaining a pilot certificate contact an FAA certified flight and ground school instructor and review their syllabus and course prior to commencing flight training. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is a great resource for information on beginning flight training, he adds.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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