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 LiveATC.net. 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.