Club Newsletter

RFTS Flying Club

September 2018 Newsletter



1.  Last Plane Wash of 2018 Coming Soon:

Saturday, October 20th (9:00-Noon) will be the last plane wash of the year. The birds will get a good scrub to carry them to April.


2.  Breakfast Meetings Begin in November:

Our winter breakfast meetings will commence in November at our favorite haunt, the Tower Lanes on 6th Avenue in Tacoma. All dates have been entered into the RFTS Google Calendar, 9:00-11:30 AM:

                         November 10

January 19

February 9

March 9

No breakfast meeting in December due to our annual Christmas party. Speaking of which…


3.  Annual RFTS Christmas Bash:

              Our annual club Christmas gathering will be December 8 from 6:00-9:00 PM. Details will follow in the November newsletter for this potluck fest. The location is the same as last year: Rosedale Village Community Center on Rosedale Street, not far from downtown Gig Harbor.


4.  RFTS Board Meeting Recap:

A Board Meeting was held on September 6, primarily for the annual financial review of expenses and rental rate determination. Here are the highlights:

      When the TIW fuel price increased from $5.39 to $5.59, the club elected not to raise rental rates. That proved to be a wise decision; the club has had ample financial reserves to cover the increase.

      Maintenance expenses this past year were lower than expected.

      All scheduled maintenance has been completed and all bills are paid in full. And the best part is there is still money in the bank. The club’s liquidity is excellent.

      Forecasting future expenses based on this past year’s experience and existing cash flow, existing club rental rates are more than adequate and a reduced hourly rate is justified for 520PL.

      The Board approved Eric Rubel’s request for an increase in the 520PL leaseback rate from $33.00 to 35.00 per hour to cover owner expenses. (The club does not own any assets; everything is leased. The aircraft/simulator owners lease the equipment to the club in return for a leaseback fee. That fee is the dollar amount paid by the club – on an hourly basis – to the aircraft/simulator owners and is incorporated in the hourly rental rate of the aircraft/simulator. FYI, hourly leaseback fees are $30.00 for 43R and 40Q, $35.00 for 0PL, $40.00 for 05J, and $20 for the Redbird simulator). 

      The plan to reduce the hourly rate for 520PL is slightly offset by the increased leaseback fee. A net $4.00 per hour reduction for 0PL was approved by the Board effective October 1, 2018.

      After contemplating the issue off and on for the last few years, the Board acknowledged that the instructor hourly rate has been unchanged in over a decade. The Board approved an increase of $5.00 for a new rate of $20.00 per hour. Still the best deal anywhere…


5.  Rental/Instructor Rates Effective October 1, 2018:

Based on the results of the recent RFTS Board meeting discussed above, the following rates will apply effective October 1:

            N1840Q:                     $135.00 per hour

No change from current

            N520PL:                     $120.00 per hour

Decrease of $4.00 per hour

            N3843R:                     $105.00 per hour

No change from current

            N1205J:                       $87.00 per hour

No change from current

            Instructor Rate:           $20.00 per hour

Increase of $5.00 per hour

            Monthly Dues:            $61.00 per month

No change from current


6.  Do Not Miss the November 10 Breakfast Meeting:

This meeting will provide the necessary training to switch the club’s online scheduling system from Robin to Flight Circle. You do not want to miss this meeting! Scheduling, dispatching, and postflight logging will be all new. This meeting will be devoted to this topic and our intent is to provide you everything you need to know while also providing the opportunity for hands on training. Stand by for more details as the date approaches. 


We will provide some training videos for your review prior to this meeting. The planned changeover date to Flight Circle is December 1, 2018. The objective is to transfer to the new system during the slack winter flying season, giving us the chance to work out the kinks before next summer.


The expense to the club of transitioning to the Flight Circle scheduling system will be $40.00 per month ($10.00 per aircraft). The club will absorb this cost with no impact on monthly dues or rental rates.


7.  Bylaws Approval Plan:

Most of you know that we have been sitting on the revised bylaws since spring of this year pending the approval of club members. The current bylaws do not authorize electronic voting (rectified in the new bylaws) and we have failed to achieve a quorum at any of the summer plane washes. Accordingly, we will plan to “vote by mail” in the coming weeks. Details will be available soon.


8.  Loose Ends:

      Bart McPeak has transferred to inactive status due to his move to South Korea.

      The club currently has ten inactive members.

      Our waiting list varies from three to five future members, with Bart’s slot to be absorbed by one of them.

      Under separate cover, you have seen two items: ensuring winch cables are taut before retracting and completing the required data on the Flight Circle spreadsheet. ‘Nuff said on those accounts.

      If anyone has any headsets to donate to the club, please do so. The “loaners” currently on hand are getting pretty beat up and new ones would be greatly appreciated.

      Once we transition to Flight Circle, please pay close attention to your monthly bill. We should all assume that there will be errors during the break-in period. Verify that all your charges are correct – a good practice all the time anyway.


9.  Kudos to Alex Yurchenko:

Working so very hard behind the scenes, Alex deserves everyone’s tremendous gratitude.

He has been a superb Maintenance Officer for the club, has been instrumental in Flight

Circle testing, and even found time to arrange the annual Rainiers ball game. Thank you

Alex! Your efforts on behalf of the club are golden…



Let's go flying!



September 26, 2018