The Flyers have set up a cross-country reservation system, detailed below, to balance the need of students and instructors to have training aircraft available against the need of other members to obtain aircraft for longer trips or for the cross-country training experience required for various ratings.
The club considers a flight a cross-country if the aircraft is away from Ann Arbor (flying or not) for over five hours. All aircraft are available for cross-countries except for the Cessna 152s, our primary training aircraft. We also attempt to keep one of the 172s on hand for instrument training whenever possible.
Members make requests for cross-countries on the cross-country schedule at the club office. You may request a reservation up to three months in advance. In making a request, you should block out the time on the schedule, and give your name, member number, estimated total flight hours. VFR or IFR, destination and the date you are writing in your request.
A second member who wants the same aircraft for the same time period schedules at the top of the alternate section, with name, member number, estimated total flight hours. VFR or IFR, destination. and desired alternate airplane(s), and the date of request. A third member would schedule in the alternate section below the second member, etc.
A member may schedule as both a primary and an alternate. For example, you could schedule as primary on the Debonair and as an alternate on the Skylane if you really want the Skylane but it's currently booked.
If the member's estimated total flight time exceeds two hours per calendar day of aircraft usage, then that member is assured of having that aircraft at the time of sign-up.
If the member's estimated total flight time does not exceed two hours per day, then that member will be scheduled in to the aircraft by the cross country manager only if alternate requests for the same aircraft during the same time period do not meet the two hour criterion.
Two weeks prior to the date of departure (give or take, but not to be closer than seven days before), the cross-country manager will transfer the requests to the main schedule, listing primary pilot and first alternate, if appropriate. The cross-country manager will facilitate any itinerary changes which may be beneficial "Can you leave two hours later so that X can use the airplane..."
In the absence of other considerations, and mindful of the "first scheduled, first served" principle of the system, the cross-country manager may give priority to the member who is not a frequent cross-country flier. The cross-country manager can use his/her discretion to deal with system abusers as a low priority. Contact the cross-country manager if you are scheduling a cross-country less than two weeks ahead.
The current cross-country manager is Finlay Beaton.
The cross country manager is not authorized to approve flights that are to last more than ten days and/or two weekends. Longer flights are possible, but must be approved by the Board of Directors.
The club encourages cross-country flying both formally and informally. Check the bulletin board at the club for notices from members looking for cross country partners for their trips. Call our office (734.994.6208) about the Flying Gourmet program, which was designed to encourage cross-countries to destinations in Michigan and northern Ohio and Indiana. (This will eventually be covered on the site, in the Calendar/Social area.)
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