Attendees of the Aero Club Open House got up close looks at the aircraft available to fly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber).
12/2/2015 – EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. What does it take to learn to fly? The Edwards AFB Aero Club answered that question during their open house November 30th. Visitors were invited to a hot dog lunch and entered in a raffle for a free orientation flight with instruction. A tour of the facility included the classroom used for instruction and safety meetings, the club’s simulators and a trip outside to see the airplanes.
Silke Eyles, Edwards AFB Aero Club manager, was on hand to answer questions such as how many flight hours are required and the associated costs. To join the Aero Club, new members pay a one-time initiation fee to enter the Aero Club systems and then a $25 a month fee that covers maintenance and facility upkeep.
According to Eyles, the monthly fee provides access to “low cost airplanes.” The glass cockpits, for instance, are roughly $30 less than the average rental costs elsewhere. The Edwards Aero Club offers instruction for both private and commercial licenses on a pay-as-you-go plan. They also provide a list of scholarships that are available to help cover the costs.
“This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest places to learn to fly. I come from the East Coast myself. I flew there 18-and-a-half-years, and when I came to Edwards I said to myself, ‘there can’t be a better place to learn to fly,” said Eyles.
“Our runway is here on South Base; this was the original Edwards AFB here. This is the runway where Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier that’s the runway they take off and land on. It’s a piece of history.”
For more information on the Aero Club call C-661-275-AERO/2376, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. For afterhours questions call C-661-857-6275 or visit http://edwardsfss.com/wordpress/recreation/aero-club.
Author: Rebecca Amber, US Air Force
Reprint from March–April 2016 • Volume 46, No. 2