JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
One positive effect of the long Alaskan daylight hours surrounding the summer solstice is the Elmendorf Aero Club’s ability to provide members and students more opportunities to fly at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
“At our aero club there are a tremendous amount of flying opportunities, not only for the pilots who are already certified, but for Airmen desiring to gain their private pilot certification,” said Paul Credit, Elmendorf Aero Club manager. “We are able to offer a free introductory flight sponsored by the Single Airman Program while the Airmen are stationed here. I tell everyone who is truly interested in flying that they have to be 100 percent committed though – personally and financially.”
For individuals who do not qualify for the Single Airman Program, introductory flights can be scheduled throughout the week. Costs can vary depending on the length of flight requested.
The club is open to all active-duty, retirees, Department of Defense civilians, National Guard and Reserve employees and dependents.
“We are able to offer our members the use of our planes, fueled up for $130 an hour and instructor pilots for $42 an hour,” Credit said. “We are a nationally accredited certified flight school. For individuals who have already acquired a private pilot certificate, this place is an extremely valuable resource for those wishing to use their veteran benefits or tuition assistance (which utilizes the University of Alaska Anchorage’s formal academic education program) to enhance their levels of certification.”
In addition to flight instruction, the Elmendorf Aero Club has more than 15 rentable spaces available outside and five inside for personal aircraft storage. For those who may need to land in water, there are floating dock spaces available for rent at Lower Sixmile Lake.
There is a one-time administrative fee of $35 for first-time members. A $30 monthly membership fee includes the use of available rentable airplanes and for some additional fees, the instruction and rentable hangar spaces are available.
“I think this program is an extremely valuable resource and is one of the least expensive I have found,” said Brandon Maes, an aviation resource manager with the 176th Alaska Air National Guard Operation Support Squadron. “Not only is it an inexpensive place for learning how to fly, it also offers a low $25 a month rental space to park your own plane and they can warm it up in the hangar for winter time flying. The club garners an excellent community of pilots and instructors rendering guidance to inexperienced pilots.”
For more information about Aero Club membership, classes or programs offered, call 552-5435 or visit: https://www.jberaeroclub.com.