• Tell me a little about the flying club?

  • IFC is a non-profit flying club of approximately 80 members based at DuPage County Airport in West Chicago, Illinois.  The club owns and/or leases 4 aircraft, which are then made available to the club members at the lowest possible cost.  The flying club has been in continuous operation since 1975.


  • What is the purpose of the International Flying Club?

  • The primary club objectives are to provide social and recreational opportunities to aviation enthusiasts, introduce members of the community to general aviation, promote aviation safety, expand skills of member pilots, share expenses, pool member resources to fly club aircraft at very reasonable rates, and keep high-standards in maintaining club aircraft.


  • Why the  "International"  in International Flying Club?

  • Some of the charter members resided at what was formerly known as the "International Village Apartments" in Schaumburg.  That informal connection has long since been severed, but the club name continues.


  • How is the flying club organized?

  • We are incorporated in Illinois as a tax-exempt non-profit organization.  Club aircraft and other aviation activities are available to members at-cost.  Directors meet monthly to set club policies with input from all the members.  Club officers are volunteers who handle the day-to-day operations.  Nobody is allowed to profit or receive income from club operations.  Elections are held yearly for all club positions.  Each regular club member is considered to be an equal owner with full voting privileges.


  • How do so many people share the airplanes?

  • Amazingly well.  Though scheduling conflicts do occur, they are actually quite rare.  When conflicts do occur, members are often willing to change plans slightly to help each other out.  We have a web-based scheduling system that allows members to get immediate feedback on aircraft availability.  Everyone is able to fly as much as they like.


  • What does it cost to fly?

  • A billing sheet reflecting the accrued member dues and charges is mailed out once a month.  Advance payments are not required.  There are no hidden club assessments for fuel surcharges.  Current aircraft rates are posted on the web site and published in the monthly newsletter.  Hourly rates include the cost of fuel and are based on Hobbs time for Cessna aircraft, and tach time for the Piper Arrow.  Member payments are expected within 30 days of account billing.  When considering where to find the best flying deal, look at application fees, monthly dues, and rental rates.  Discount pricing is available for pilots and students for advance purchase of block time.  The club's membership dues alleviate the need for obtaining any renters insurance. Our club does not require any equity share transactions, nor do we assess the members any extra maintenance costs.  Security deposits are promptly refunded upon request.  A club with low overhead expenses means big savings, and you get to enjoy flying at rock bottom prices. 


  • Are there any hidden surcharges?

  • Definitely not.  Members are not responsible for any maintenance costs or fuel expenses.  There are no surprises in what members owe the club or in aircraft rental rates.  The club takes advantage of long term leases and pre-purchased bulk fuel prices to minimize expenses.  Aircraft rental rates are periodically reviewed and published to rebalance any club surplus or deficits.  Any charges you may incur away from the home base are promptly re-imbursed to your account.


  • Why do we use Hobbs time?

  • Tach time will usually read a bit less than the hobbs meter, however it is subject to some variations depending on the nature of each individual flight. Tach time is calibrated to the engine running at cruise speed. While cruising, the tach, hobbs, and real time should closely match. Ramp to ramp, a typical tach ratio would be about 80%-85% compared to hobbs. Since hobbs time runs a bit faster than tach time, hobbs rates are set about 20% lower than corresponding tach rates to compensate for the difference. This keeps the billing simple and allows for more logged flight time. It's easy for us to then calculate the actual club expenses and to pass through the maximum rental savings to all the member pilots. Overhead we all incur for taxi time, radio work, and low-power operations have already been factored into reducing the hobbs aircraft rental rates. Note that the Hobbs meter on the Piper Arrow does not always run accurately, so we are currently billing on tach time rates for this aircraft only.


  • Do I need my own renter's insurance?

  • No.  The club provides both liability and hull coverage for all active members with an https://www.avemco.com/products/Flying-Club Avemco insurance policy.  Most of the members do not carry any additional insurance.  Members are "named insured" - meaning you are fully covered when flying club aircraft, except for deductibles.  The cost of the club insurance policy is built into the membership dues.  We maintain the maximum available limits on our club policy.  When flying at a commercial operator, the renter is usually not covered, insurance covers the owner and they will recover losses from the pilot. If you do obtain renter's insurance for flying non-club aircraft, it will effectively double your coverage when flying in club planes. Consider your own situation if double coverage is worthwhile. Avemco renter's insurance is about $200/yr, maybe a bit less with qualifying discounts.


  • Are there any restrictions on the use of club airplanes?

  • Nothing unreasonable.  New members (non-students) must take a pilot check ride to gain familiarity with our planes and club procedures, but otherwise there are few restrictions beyond the currency requirements for the club and the FAA.  The most important thing for the pilot and the club is that you are flying safely and with confidance, the check-ride is a good opportunity to get a refresher from our experienced CFI's and maybe even learn something new. For full details on club limitations, see our bylaws/rules.  The main restriction imposed by club insurance is that flights with a commercial purpose are not allowed.


  • Can I participate in charitable causes and community events?

  • Flights where pilots are not compensated or hired are allowed, including support of charity causes and fund raising.  Commercial activity is not allowed, or where the pilot is receiving benefits for the flight. Pro-rata cost sharing is allowed has long as the pilot isn't holding out to the public. Some examples where members have participated in with club aircraft are animal rescues, medical transport, young eagles, boy scout safety education, and fund raising raffles. 


  • Can I take the plane on vacations or do full day trips?

  • Many members have done this.  As long as you are putting a reasonable number of flight hours on the plane, this is allowed and even encouraged.  Camping trips, ski trips, and family vacations are popular trips, along with dinner flights or overnight stays in nearby states.


  • Are the club planes IFR certified?

  • Yes, we maintain IFR certification in all the club planes.


  • Who maintains the airplanes?

  • The planes are kept well maintained with 100 hour and annual inspections, along with any other maintenance as needed.  Maintenance work is coordinated by club officers and crew chiefs and handled by faa certified mechanics.  Club members pay no additional charges for any aircraft repairs or upgrades.  Non-urgent squawks and other suggestions are discussed and planned for at the monthly club meetings.


  • How is the airplane scheduled?

  • Reservations via the web-based scheduler is the preferred method, but it's also possible to contact an officer and schedule via telephone or email. Note that you must sign up for a user account to view or book a plane reservation, and then wait for an admin to assign privileges to your new account.


  • Are there club meetings and activities?

  • There is a monthly club meeting on the first Thursday of each month to discuss all membership issues, set club policies, and to plan future activities and events.  The club publishes a monthly newletter to share information with the membership.  FAA safety seminars are frequently held at a local restaurant.  Fly-outs are often planned for group lunches and dinners.  There are pizza nights, barbeques and other social gatherings.  We actively participate in the Wings Program and the Oshkosh Airshow.


  • How do I join IFC? Must I be a licensed pilot?

  • The application steps are quite easy.  There are no minimum flight time requirements.  You do not need to be a licensed pilot.  Student pilots and other aviation enthusiasts are welcome. There is a small application fee and security deposit, but there is no need to buy or sell club equity shares. Existing pilots will receive a quick checkout to familiarize themselves with our aircraft and review club procedures.  Students can match up their schedules with available instructors.


  • Can I rent the club aircraft without joining?

  • No, the flying club is a non-profit organization controlled by its members, we are not an FBO or a Flight School, we do not offer aircraft rentals to non-members or to the general public.  Only active members in good standing may reserve and use the club assets.  Only approved members are covered by the club insurance policy.  The club insurance policy does not cover commercial operations.


  • How can I receive pilot training and flight instruction?

  • Many members have earned their wings and advanced ratings in club aircraft.  We have affiliations with local certified instructors that may be contacted by members.  These instructors have lots of experience and do so because they enjoy teaching, they are not hot-shot pilots trying to build up their flight hours at your expense.  The instructors strive to make pilot training a pleasant and enjoyable experience.  The club is motivated to make sure you are a safe and confidant pilot, and hopefully you'll become a valuable long-term member. Members negotiate their own fees with the individual flight instructors.  These fees are always very reasonable in comparison to commercial operations who have a much higher expense overhead.  Some CFI's are also long time members of the flying club.  We have good relationships with all the local designated flight examiners.


  • What are some good web links for student pilots?

  • FAA Student Pilot Guide
    FAA Pilot Training
    FAA Pilot Portal
    FAA Pilot News
    Aviation Medical Examiners
    AOPA Pilot Resources


  • How much does it cost to earn a private pilot license?

  • Considerable savings can be expected by joining a non-profit flying club.
    Learning is also enhanced by support and interaction with other members.
    Here is an estimate of expected costs to achieve a private pilot license.

    $6000 - 60 hours rental @$100/hr (738HA rate)
    $1500 - 30 hours instruction @$40-$50/hr
    $ 280 - club initiation fees and dues for 5 months
    $ 500 - books, headset, flight bag, etc

    $8280 - total average cost in 738HA
    $7680 - total average cost in 48938
    $9240 - total average cost in 1380U

    A detailed listing of suggested student pilot supplies can be found in the members section of the web site.  It is possible to finish in less than 60 hours if the student has a strong aptitude, but that is not always the norm.  And the more time you put into practicing your skills, the more confidant and safer pilot you will become.  Instructor expenses will be less than stated because they often discount their time and round downward.  If you can fly 2-3 times per week, the whole process to achieve a pilot license takes about 3-4 months.  Note there are also expenses for a medical, ground school, and examination fees, which may amount to $1000 total.


  • I can only take lessons on weekends or evenings, is that a problem?

  • We will recommend club affiliated instructors who have flexible schedules and are able to match your desired availability, whether that be days, evenings, or weekends.


  • Can I go on a discovery flight?

  • While the club does not formally offer them, many of us are happy to take a potential member or student for a quick flight around the local area in one of our planes.  Please send your inquiries to the memberships alias on our contact page.


  • Do you offer any trial memberships?

  • If you would like to do some introductory flights with a certified instructor (thereby deferring the club joining fee and monthly dues), we offer a non-refundable package for $600 which entitles you to four hours of cessna flight time, to be taken within a two month period.  This offer is only available to new student pilots (you must be a U.S. citizen to qualify) who are exploring whether they might like to pursue a private pilot license. Insurance and flight costs are fully covered by the program. There is no further obligation, you may choose to continue as a regular member after the trial has been completed.  Trial memberships may also be purchased as a gift for a family member or close friend.


  • Does the club have flight simulators?

  • Yes, the club has arranged for member access to advanced simulators at local flight schools and FSX Chicago.  Various simulator discounts and intro packages are available to club members. Please contact the Chief Pilot for details on current offerings. In addition, the basic simulator in the pilot lounge at the DPA terminal building can be used free of charge.


  • How can I upgrade my membership to fly the Arrow?

  • The following insurance requirements must be met:

    • 100 hrs of total logged pilot flight time (dual or PIC)
    • before acting as PIC, the following pilot time must have been logged in same make/model
      - 10 hrs if member has less than 50 hrs of retract time
      - 5 hrs if member has more than 50 hrs of retract time
      - 1 hr if member has more than 100 hrs of retract time and 500 hrs total logged time

  • What are the club currency requirements?

  • Currency requirements in the Arrow are 3 hrs logged pilot flight time in same make/model in preceding 180 days, or has passed a check-ride in the insured aircraft along with written approval from a CFI in the preceding 45 days. Currency requirements in the c152 or c172 are as per FAR 61.57, however our chief pilot recommends if you haven't flown as PIC in the previous 90 days, ask to take a quick check-ride with a club approved CFI.


  • I'm a CFI, can I instruct students in club aircraft?

  • The club is a not-for-profit organization and is not in the commerical business of providing flight instruction and pilot training.  However members can hire their own CFI for flight instruction with club approval, or make private arrangements with any CFI who also happens to be a club member.  The club can assist you in contacting flight instructors that have been pre-approved.  Members who have CFI ratings cannot provide training to non-members in club aircraft.  The CFI does not need to be a club member, however the student receiving instruction must be. Commercial type operations are not covered by the club insurance policy, they are not allowed by the Internal Revenue Code for tax-exempt organizations, and they are in violation of the DuPage Airport Regulations for flying clubs.  We encourage CFI's to join the club to be included on our insurance policy as a named member. CFI's should also consider their instructional risk if they are determined at fault for a training incident. See Avemco CFI non-owner rates.


  • I am a plane owner, can I lease my plane with the flying club?

  • Yes, many of our plane owners find the cash flow, maintenance assistance, and leasing arrangements to be very lucrative.  Please contact the club treasurer to discuss details how this could be a great option to consider. Note that experimental category aircraft, high performance aircraft, and any aircraft with a hull value exceeding $200,000 are excluded from coverage on our Avemco flying club insurance policy.


  • How can I print the weight and balance images from the web site?

  • Select option "print background colors and images" found under page setup in your browser.  Some browser versions may have problems displaying the interactive charts, you may have to switch.


  • Is a bronze membership classification the right choice for me?

  • Bronze is for anyone wishing to only be a social member and participate in club activities and events,  or a club approved flight instructor who wishes to be covered by the club insurance policy.  Bronze members are restricted from renting club aircraft for their own recreational flying or training.  Student pilots wishing to receive flight instruction are not eligible for bronze membership.  Silver, Gold, and Platinum memberships are available to any pilot who plans to incur flight charges.  Most club members join as gold members to gain access to either complex aircraft or advanced avionics. Students or other cost-conscious members may choose the silver classification which restricts access to the basic club aircraft. Members may switch classifications at any time.


  • If I travel out of the local area, can I go on inactive club status?

  • Anyone who will not be flying for a lengthy period (medical issue, business, college, snowbird, financial needs, etc) can go on inactive status and pay no club dues. Otherwise for regular memberships, annual club dues are pro-rated equally over a 12 month period and so frequent switching of active status without good cause may not be approved by club directors.


  • What are the U.S. Citizenship requirements for joining a flight club?

  • Student pilots who have not yet achieved their private license must demonstrate U.S. Citizenship to their flight instructor(s) and obtain an endorsement in their pilot log book. Full details on what is acceptable documentation can be viewed on the AOPA flight training web site.

    A non-U.S. citizen seeking flight training will have additonal steps to register and gain TSA approval. Your flight instructor will guide you through the application process. Further information is available on the AOPA alien flight training program.


  • How do I transfer a foreign pilot certification to fly in the U.S.?

  • Please contact our chief pilot for assistance. The application procedures and conversion steps are outlined at the following aopa web site. After all paperwork is approved and the U.S. pilot certificate has been issued, a flight review and proficiency check by an FAA flight instructor will be necessary before the privileges of the private pilot license may be exercised.


  • Is Chicago International Flying Club (CIFC) affiliated with our organization?

  • No they are not. CIFC was formed in 2016 by an owner of a 1972 Cherokee PA28-140 to share expenses.  This small group of pilots is based in Schaumburg and they have no club history or track record.  In fact, everything stated on their web site was taken and copied without permission from well established flight clubs in the local area.  They are obviously trying to take advantage of our good reputation which we've built up over 40 years.

© 2022 International Flying Club, Inc.