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The IBM Flying Club
We are a non-commercial social group open to employees, retirees,
and friends of IBM (UK) Ltd. The
Club aims are based on promoting safety and experience for our members as well as introducing new and potential IBM pilots
and friends to our Instructors
and the world of aviation. The Club, formed in 1981, operates throughout
Despite having no physical base or building of its own, the Club is
extremely active and was perhaps the first flying club to use E-mail links
and a Google Group to bring its members together, as well as to disseminate newsletters and forthcoming Events.
Newsletters (and items of interest) are published as required which contain trip reports, news,
safety tips, advice and proposed experience building trips. This relies
heavily on input from Club members; however we welcome articles from all
sources (but not commercial advertising). Articles for inclusion in the next Newsletter should be
the Newsletter co-ordinator
in MS Word format. Items of interest should be sent to the
Skill levels range from "just interested", to ab-initio pilot, to CPL/IR.
members own their own aircraft (outright or as a member of a syndicate) and
many other rent from usual sources. The IBM Flying Club does not own any
The opinions of the IBM Flying Club
or its members which are expressed or recommended on this or any
other linked pages are not necessarily those of the IBM
Corporation and should not be construed as such.
Benefits to Members
The primary benefit of the Flying club is that it provides a forum for
communication between members. The Google group which is available to
members is an excellent communication vehicle that is widely used. Some members
use it to publicise their weekend flights, looking for others to join them; some
use it to ask for advice or guidance; some use it to advertise events; and so
on. Since we implemented the Google Group it has certainly helped to improve
the feeling of belonging regardless of the geographic spread of the members. Our
members have a wide and varied experience including a number of members with IMC ratings, a number who regularly
fly abroad, a number who own their own planes, and a number who rent on a regular
basis. We have some folk who regularly fly from grass airstrips and those who
fly from international airports; we also have a lot of members who used to fly,
but who still enjoy talking about flying and joining the fly-ins (or as we call
them "Zero Feet"
events) where space
and weight and balance permits.
The main feature of the Club is the emphasis on safety
and shared flying experiences. One popular activity of the Club is teaming
up inexperienced pilots with more experienced members of the club for
experience building trips. Regular "Talking Baggage" flights take place,
where for example, three club members may take an aircraft to two destinations in a day. The left
hand seat pilot on any leg pays the bill for that leg, the right hand seat
takes the radio work and navigation, whilst the back-seat pilot "rides
shotgun" and is the "talking baggage", double checking on the actions of the
two in front. This enables three pilots to get parallel experience whilst only
paying a third of the cost, allowing trips to further destinations to be
Whatever the subject in aviation, the Club usually has someone with an
interest in it. Some of our members are practising
Instructors who can teach, examine, or provide checkout services to
members and non-members alike.
Given the generally poor weather during the
winter months we have usually arranged a number of Zero Feet events. These
have included a chat about the Red Arrows; a talk from Eric Moody - the pilot of the
747 that lost all of its engines when it flew through a volcanic ash cloud over
Java; a talk from NATS about airspace and a CAA Safety Evening. Other Zero Feet
events included a trip to the AAIB, and also a trip to ATC at Lasham where they
service 737s etc. We do not stand still.
We have negotiated a deal with Transair
whereby we can obtain significant discounts on their wide range of products.
Transair catalogues are widely available or you can have a look at their website
on www.transair.co.uk We have
also arranged a discount on Pilot magazine, and will provide a loan chart (for a
discounted fee) on an annual basis. We are always open to ideas. We
also provide access to the Met Office subscription services for our members. Just
remember that there is no membership cost
- given the escalating prices associated with aviation, we cannot think of a