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Home > Blog > Why You Should Consider Joining A Flying Club

Why You Should Consider Joining a Flying Club

Posted 08 Mar 2022

Joining a Flying Club

The most important part of a pilot’s aviation journey is the beginning, which is when a pilot first learns to fly. Training is an indispensable part of aviation, without which you will never truly be able to become a pilot, private or commercial.

The most important part of a pilot’s aviation journey is the beginning, which is when a pilot first learns to fly. Training is an indispensable part of aviation, without which you will never truly be able to become a pilot, private or commercial.

If you have dreams of becoming a pilot, access to an aircraft is absolutely necessary. No amount of theoretical knowledge can make up for the practical experience of flying an aircraft, and this is where flying clubs, or aero clubs, such as Sherburn Aero Club come in. From allowing you to purchase your own aircraft and providing access to a diverse range of aeroplanes, to helping you connect with a community of like-minded aviation lovers whom you can train and fly alongside, there are several reasons why you should consider joining a flying club.

Read on to find out more about flying clubs and how membership can enrich your aviation experience.



Flying clubs are airfields with their own fleet of aircraft that, for a membership fee, allow aviation enthusiasts and future commercial pilots to train on an aircraft or take to the skies for a joy ride. Most flying clubs allow aspiring pilots, as well as seasoned ones, to engage with a community of like-minded aviation lovers.

When it comes to aspiring professional pilots, a flying club membership is a necessary expense, since it provides them with access to aeroplanes, as well as other training and medical facilities.

There are many reasons why a pilot should consider joining a flying club like Sherburn Aero Club, the primary of which is affordability.


 A flying club offers a plethora of aviation-related services and is a great option for those looking to fly an aeroplane. Here are all the reasons why you should consider joining one:

Save money

There are many reasons why a pilot should consider joining a flying club like Sherburn Aero Club, saving money being at the top of the list. Aeroplanes are quite expensive machines. Even light aircraft such as the three-axis come with a relatively hefty price tag.

For those who have big dreams of becoming a pilot but not the funds for private jets and aeroplanes, the cost of training can present itself as a deterrent. However, with flight clubs, this does not have to be the case. Flight clubs charge a monthly membership fee, in exchange offering you an airfield with a fleet of aeroplanes ready to take off.

Flying clubs are also mostly member-owned, which means the money that is charged via fee is used for the members’ own benefit, such as in the upkeep of aeroplanes and the general maintenance of the airfield.

Most clubs also charge an hourly flying rate, so you don’t have to worry about paying a hefty sum of money during months when you aren’t actively flying. All these factors lead to a huge cut in costs for aviation enthusiasts and aspiring professionals, making aviation accessible to more than just the incredibly wealthy.


Access to different aircraft

Even if you love aviation enough to invest in an aircraft, chances are you will buy no more than one aeroplane at a time. This limits your experience, forcing you to master only one type of aircraft. When you join a flying club, you get access to a well-managed fleet of aeroplanes, each with different specifications and suited to varying needs.

You can start off with a relatively smaller and simpler aeroplane, and then gradually move to something a bit heavier and more complex as you progress in your training. If you were to trade in a privately owned aeroplane for a new one, it would cost you more time and money. However, in flying clubs, all it takes is a shift from one hangar to the next.

 Most flying clubs have access to more than one type of aircraft. For example, Sherburn’s fleet includes the Piper PA-28 Cadet, Piper PA-28 Warrior, Aero AT-3, and Robin 2160. Access to different types of aircraft also helps pilots decide which aircraft is right for them without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money on different aeroplanes.


Shared responsibility

Maintenance of aeroplanes can truly be a hassle. Regular examinations and required part replacements are necessary in order to make sure the aircraft continues to operate smoothly. This can rake up quite a hefty yearly sum for people privately owning an aircraft. Not to mention, the back and forth involved in maintenance presents itself as a nuisance to many.

Flying clubs offer the perfect solution to this. Since the maintenance and upkeep of aeroplanes are included in the membership fee, pilots need not worry about the state of the aircraft. According to the member-owned nature of these clubs, some senior members will be appointed as officers if they nominate themselves for the role. These officers then oversee any upkeep of the airfield and aircraft.

This results in shared responsibility, without the burden of maintenance and record-keeping falling on any one person’s shoulders, and the tasks being managed instead via community efforts.


Sense of community

If you were to pursue aviation privately, the opportunity to connect with like-minded aviation lovers is lost, which brings us to one of the best parts of flying clubs.

The community of pilots is a great place to ask any aviation-related questions you may have, benefitting from the experience of senior pilots, or helping out those who are just starting and are new to the game. The chance to become friends with other pilots increases tenfold when you are part of a flying club since your membership allows you to regularly interact with other pilots.

Become a better pilot

When it comes to training, flying clubs are the go-to place for most aspiring pilots. Most clubs offer training courses for private pilots, with some offering advanced training, such as that required for a Commercial Pilot Licence, as well.

In addition to this, through a flying club, it becomes much easier to log in-flight hours since they are all available on record. Several clubs like Sherburn Aero Club also offer classes for the theoretical exams that need to be passed to obtain a pilot licence.

Also, the fact that you are surrounded by so many other pilots, many of whom have a lot more experience and skill than you, encourages you to excel further in your aviation journey. You will want to sharpen your existing aviation skills and add new ones to your arsenal regularly.


Sherburn Aero Club

Sherburn Aero Club is one of the most popular flying clubs in the North of England, particularly in the Northeast. The club is located at The Aerodrome in Elmet, Leeds, and is one of the largest flying clubs in England. Operational since 1964, the club first started offering flight training in the 1970s.

 Sherburn offers dedicated Private Pilot Licence training, complete with simulator training and medical evaluations through our in-house clinic. The fleet at Sherburn includes the Piper PA-28 Cadet, Piper PA-28 Warrior, Aero AT-3, and Robin 2160.

Apart from training towards licences, the club also offers experience flights that make for a great gift for your loved ones, offering them the aviation experience of a lifetime. The club also houses a dedicated bar and restaurant, allowing for healthy socialisation and community-building amongst members.


Northeast Flying Club

 Located at the Shotton Airfield in Durham, Northeast Flying Club is one of the most popular flying clubs in Northeast London, due to it being uniquely placed to cater to the entirety of the region. If money-related issues are stressing you out, you can rest assured that Northeast Flying Cub offers packages for members depending on their training requirements and budget.

For those who wish to get a feel of aviation before committing to more intense training, Northeast Flying Club offers day-long sessions, as well as five-hour packages.


Hull Aero Club 

Hull Aero Club is located in the Beverley Airfield in the scenic Yorkshire countryside, making it a great option for pilots who love a good view. The location is ideal for photography and filmmaking, and the club is a good place to bring your family along.

The club offers training for private pilots, which include in-flight training, as well as courses of theoretical subjects which must be passed with a 75% (at least) in order to qualify for a Private Pilot Licence by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The club also offers experience flights, which can serve as a great present for your loved ones who are interested in aviation. Experience flights can also be used to get a feel of aviation before committing to something more long term.



Enstone Flying Club 

 The Enstone Flying Club is located near Oxford. The club also houses a training facility that has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Much like Hull Aero Club, Enstone prides itself on a gorgeous view.

The club offers training options for private pilots, which include those for the Private Pilot Licence, as well as the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence.

If you do not want to commit to a long-term program due to issues of budget or because you are unsure of aviation, Enstone offers a “pay as you go” facility in which you only pay for the amount of instruction you have received.


Go Fly UK

Located in the Old Sarum Airfield in Salisbury, which is one of the country’s best-maintained historic airfields, Go Fly UK prides itself on its pilot training program. The Old Sarum Airfield goes back all the way to World War I, with the area being steeped in rich cultural history.

 Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training, Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) training, Instrument Rating (IR), and Night Rating are some of the facilities that are available at Go Fly.

Alouette Flying Club

 Located in the Old Biggin Hill airport in London, Alouette Flying Club is in perfect reach of Essex, Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex, and can also be flown to from Sherburn Aero Club, which is in the North of the country. The club offers training for beginner pilots as well as a well-maintained fleet and airfield for seasoned professionals and hobbyists. 

 Alouette is a great option for pilots who are concerned with community-building, with the club regularly holding social events at its clubhouse, which also houses a licenced bar.



To become a pilot, you must first acquire a pilot licence, much like you would need a driving licence to operate a motor vehicle. Most flying clubs would need at least a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), or the relatively less stringent Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL), issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom.

Flying clubs will help you gain the initial flight hours in order to apply for a PPL, such as PPL exam courses, simulator training, pilot medicals, as well as Flight Radiotelephony Officer Licence (FRTOL) training.

Since the fleet in most flying clubs mostly comprises light aircraft, a LAPL or PPL with an aeroplane rating is a necessity.


Private Pilot Licence (PPL)  

The Private Pilot Licence (PPL) is the licence of choice for most hobbyists looking for a general licence. With a PPL, the pilot cannot ask for monetary compensation in return for their services, which does not make it suitable for a commercial pilot.

The minimum age to get the PPL is 17 years, and a total of 45 hours of flight time must be logged in. 10 hours out of these 45 must be of a solo flight, with one of these flights being cross-country, totalling a distance of at least 270 km.

The applicant for the PPL must also prove mastery of nine subjects via their corresponding theoretical exams. These subjects include Meteorology, Air Law, and Navigation. 75% marks in each of them is necessary in order to qualify for the licence.


Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

The Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is the licence of choice for professionals who wish to receive monetary compensation for their piloting services. The requirements for this licence are far more stringent than those for the PPL.

The minimum age for the CPL is 18, with the aspiring professional pilot having logged in at least 200 hours of flight time.



Sherburn Aero Club opened its doors in 1964 and went on to become one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.

The flying club opened a flight training school in the 1970s which was followed by several major investments including a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse. Being both a flying club and a flight training school, we are well-positioned to cater to our members and their friends and families, before, during, and after they become qualified pilots.

We aim to give all of our members a fun social environment whilst providing the opportunity to continue to build on their experience and expand their horizons.

Whether you are taking to the skies for an experience flight or starting your flying career, Sherburn has it all to offer. In addition to that, if you are looking for a hangarage for your own aircraft, need servicing or repairs, want to buy a new aircraft or aviation equipment, or are just looking to enjoy and watch the aircraft, Sherburn Aero Club is the place to be.


Call us on 01977 682 674​​​, email us at flightdesk@sherburnaeroclub.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information on flying clubs, as well as private pilot training services, aircraft fleet, and airfield available at Sherburn Aero Club.



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