Why do we always have to keep our tanks filled in aviation? Where in the rule book does it say we have to keep our tanks filled? Oh….It does say something in the rule book about filling your tanks up.

§ 91.151 Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions.

(a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed—
(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.

But seriously……
Think about what you can put into a tank. Need help? Here is what I wrote down in this order:

1) Sharks
2) Fuel
3) Money
4) Soldiers
5) Rubber Super Balls
6) Nothing?

Okay, if we want to fly an airplane, we need to put something in our tanks. The first thing that comes to mind is fuel. Metaphorically, we are filling our tanks with money. Are fuel and money really essential in aviation? Yes, if you want to fly. No if you want to hang out at the airport.

Money is one of the biggest hurdles flying clubs run into. The money tank needs to have something in it so that the flying club’s members can have access to airplanes. I have heard that money is one of the biggest obstacles people face when starting a flying club. Unfortunately, clubs may be over thinking the problem. Why do you need money to start a flying club? The answer is you don’t.

All you need to have in order to start a flying club is a good aviation story to tell. That’s it! More members of flying clubs participate in social events than they do flying. Out of a roster of nearly 80 members, only 20 members actively fly. The rest tell stories, hang out at the airport and enjoy the company. As I write this I am going to add another item to my “What can you fill a tank with” list:

7) Stories

Think about how full the tanks can get with stories! If you have a logbook, you have stories to tell. If you have ever thought about aviation, you have stories to tell. If you have….okay, I’ll shut up. You get the point. Why not find a friend, go to the airport, tell a story and call yourself a Flying Club? You can make your wildest aviation dreams come true and not spend a dime. It really doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. Your club could be the best flying club in the entire world with zero airplanes, zero money, and tons of stories. Heck, you can prove it by even registering:


Who cares if you have empty fuel tanks and piggybanks? It doesn’t mean you should be excluded from aviation.