Local Flying Club Lets Recreational Pilots Fly with Flexibility
Want to take your sweetheart out to dinner somewhere different tonight? How about trying the famed Moonlight Bar-B-Q in Owneboro, Ky., or taking in the beautiful view at Grayson’s Landing in Kentucky’s Rough River State Park?
That’s where you might find Gray Eagle resident Ron Diamond taking his wife on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Sound too far to drive? Well, for Diamond, the only drive is to Metropolitan Airport on East 96th Street. That’s where he picks up his preferred ride: a four-seat Cessna airplane.
“It’s certainly more fun to fly than drive,” says Diamond. “Considerably less traffic.”
Diamond is treasurer of Sky-Vu Flyers, one of the oldest continuously operating flying clubs in the state, founded in 1956. The local club — based out of Metropolitan Airport in Fishers and Eagle Creek Airport on the west side — has about 60 members who jointly own four Cessna aircraft.
It’s a step up from renting airplanes by the hour but less costly than buying your own plane. Members all have their own set of keys and can use a plane whenever they like as long as it is available.
“It’s been a very satisfying experience for me,” says Gary Parker, Sky-Vu’s president and a member of the club since 1984. “I couldn’t have afforded to have a plane myself.”
A Fishers resident, Parker has taken the Sky-Vu Cessnas all over the country, often using one when he and his wife travel on vacation. A favorite spot is Chesapeake Bay.
“I’ve been to probably every state east of the Rockies and Canada,” says Parker, adding that club members have flown the small planes as far as the Bahamas and out west to Wyoming and Washington.
While flying will never be a cheap avocation, its popularity remains strong even with the increasing cost of fuel, Parker said. Sky-Vu members make an initial investment of $3,000 and then pay dues of $115 a month to cover fixed costs like insurance, aircraft inspections and leasing a hangar at the airport.
For more information, visit www.sky-vu.org or call 317-441-7897.