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The Community of Flying

Steve Blonstein, General Manager WVFC

Rental Minimums – A New Approach


One of the most “disliked” features of flying clubs are the so-called daily minimum flight time requirements.  West Valley, like most other clubs, has a daily minimum policy.  The policy is a minimum of 2 hours Hobbs for each 24-hour weekday period and 3 hours Hobbs for each 24-hour weekend period.  We often get feedback that the minimums can make the cost of a trip unattractive because of “wasted” flight hours that can’t or won’t be used.  Let’s say you take a Cessna 172 to Disneyland for 4 days, 2 of which are weekend days.  The minimums for this trip would be 10 hours.  The actual flight time, however, is probably more like 6 hours roundtrip.  There are essentially 4 unused and wasted hours.  At $160 per hour, that’s $640 which could buy a lot of gifts on Main Street.


Enter the “non-flying” rate.  Starting May 1, 2018, each aircraft will have a non-flying rate.  Like the regular rate, these new rates are set by the owner.   You can find the non-flying rate listed at the bottom of each aircraft page on the web site.  Some non-flying rates are already available and listed on their respective pages. They are typically around 50% of the regular rate.  In our example, the $640 “extra” charge above would be reduced to $320.   The total cost of the rental would now be 6 x $160 plus 4 x $80 for a total of $1280.  Assuming you’re two adults and two kids (this is Disneyland after all), I shopped Southwest Airlines from San Jose to Orange County (two weeks out) for two adults and two children flying at sensible times of the day.  The total fare came in at $1168 for the four people.  And that’s the non-refundable fare.   It’s $1783 if you want a refundable fare.  Flying GA makes a lot of sense both from a practical/convenience sense and an economic sense, especially when a feature like the non-flying rate is utilized.


This non-flying rate is a win for both the renting member and the owner who still recognizes revenue from a flight that might not have happened had the original full-price minimums been enforced.


It will take some time for all the owners to decide and set their non-flying rate, so please be patient.  Feel free to reach out to owners, through the owner list, and ask them to set a non-flying rate if they haven’t already done so.  You might be the member who tips the balance by making the request in the first place.


This is another first for West Valley Flying Club. We hope that this will become another way to encourage more members to fly more often.  Please let us know what you think.


Fly Safe.