Flying Club Scholarship

America’s Next Great Flying Club Takes Flight

americas_nextThe Ground Effect Advisors are pleased to announce that the winner of the first ever Flying Club Scholarship has successfully launched the Cape Fear Flying Club in Wilmington, NC. On May 31st Zachary (Zach) Piech was notified that he beat out one hundred and twenty five other applicants to win the Scholarship which offered financial support, consulting and product and services to help him get a flying club off the ground at Wilmington International Airport.

The club has officially been open for businesses for three months and has grown to ten members, including two Certified Flight Instructors. The members have logged over 40 hours in the clubs DA40 and the club is anticipating adding an additional DA40 (2005 DA40-FP) this Spring.

Ground Effect Advisors are thrilled with the success their winner has had. GEA Partner Todd McClamroch stated “We are thrilled to see the success Zach is having growing Cape Fear Flyers, it proves to us that he was truly an exceptional candidate for the scholarship and just needed the mentorship that Ground Effect Advisors and our partners could provide to make his dream a reality.”

The Ground Effect Advisors are contemplating offering the scholarship again in 2014. Additionally, the GEA team plans to publish an eBook this year sharing some of the learnings from their experiences managing flying clubs and with knowledge gained helping Zach Piech get the Cape Fear Flyers off the ground.

The Scholarship winner Piech received $1,000 from Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, 20 hours of consultation from the Ground Effect Advisors, and various products and services from partners including David Clark, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Signature Flight Support, Cirrus Aircraft, Schedule Master, PilotEdge SimpleFlight and The cash prize helped cover most of the legal and filing fees needed to get the club started. Piech commented on the support he received “The Cape Fear Flying Club exists today because of the support of the Flying Club Scholarship, Ground Effect Advisors, AOPA, Ray Speciale and sponsors Sportys, David Clark and Schedule Master. The most challenging step for us was the legal framework and club documentation, a hurdle we cleared successfully thanks to the tremendous support we received.”

Ground Effect Advisors is grateful to the partners that helped make this scholarship a reality.

Ground Effect Advisors Hit the Airwaves with Simple Flight Radio

GEA_radio_smallThe Ground Effect Advisors were guests on Simple Flight Radio this past week. The team was joined by the winner of their flying club scholarship, Zachary Piech, who will be launching a flying club at the Wilmington International Airport (KILM). Also appearing on the show was Jay Hahn representing three candidates that were given a runner-up scholarship to start a club at Jefferson City Memorial Airport.

This summer the Ground Effect Advisors will be working closely with both the winner and the runner-ups to help them navigate the process of getting a flying club off the ground. Listen to the episode on

Simple Flight Radio is a weekly, live radio show focused on finding amazing people doing amazing things in aviation. Tune in Sunday’s at 8pm Central.

Aviation Scholarships: A New Twist

schoarship_blogTake a look at any list of aviation scholarships on the internet and you will find one thing in common. Each of those scholarships are focused on helping support an individual pilot in pursuing their aviation goals and dreams. It is great that there are so many aviation scholarships available . However, The Ground Effect Advisors feel strongly that there is a void in the landscape of aviation scholarships.

What is needed is an innovative look at how a aviation scholarships can help in building a sustainable community to benefit General Aviation. It is from this idea that my fellow Ground Effect Advisors and I came up with the first of its kind, flying club scholarship. The goal is to have a scholarship that focuses on creating a successful flying club where it might be needed most. This club can then help support a wide variety of pilots and the community around the airport. AOPA’s Adam Smith said “I love the idea of scholarships to help start flying clubs. Like a scholarship to help someone learn to fly, but a gift that keeps on giving back to aviation.”

Ground Effect Advisors is offering a scholarship to assist in starting America’s next great flying club. Leveraging broad aviation and flying club experience, we will help you create a flying club from the ground up. An application window has opened and will run from now through May 1, 2013. At which point we will select ten finalists with whom we will have more in-depth interviews to determine where we might be able to provide the most benefit to the general aviation community. We believe by helping to create a new flying club we will help a larger number of pilots.

We firmly believe flying clubs help keep pilots active and socially engaged. At the same time they are a perfect environment for developing new pilots as the community aspect of the club helps to foster a positive learning environment for new students. We believe if we can help launch a club it could positively benefit 25-50 pilots in a matter of months.

We hope this idea has you as excited as we are and will provide a welcome change to aviation scholarships. If you or anyone you know is interested in creating America’s next great flying club, please apply today!