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club owned flying sites?

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Old 11-11-2002, 05:58 AM
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Dream_Flyer
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Default club owned flying sites?

Do any of the people here with clubs own there own flying sites?

And If so how did the club go about it?


Trying to get away from leasing and the trouble of having to find land to lease.
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Old 11-11-2002, 07:19 AM
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Kallikrates
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Default club owned flying sites?

amps rc down in miami fla owns their feild although a few years ago their where threatended to be bought out by the county because they whereplanning on raising the water table in the area but apparently that plan pettered out and they still own their 7 acres.
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Old 11-11-2002, 01:58 PM
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dant-RCU
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Default Club owned sites

We own our own field. In 1988 we raised our club dues from $25/year to $100/year with $75 ear-marked for a "land purchase fund". Our membership was at 100 members. In 1990 we purchased 10 acres in the country for $2500.00/acre. We made a down payment (don't remember how much) and the land owner carried the balance on a simple interest no-call note at 9% for 10 years. We paid the note off a year early. As a safety cushion, we placed one years mortgage payments into an interest bearing fund that would only be used as an emergency mortgage source.

We used the original land fund money not used for the 1-year hold back or down payment to make field improvements. We also got some members to make interest-free no call loans plus some members just donated money. We had a 400ft asphalt and 600 ft grass (Bermuda sod) runways done in 4 months. We also built a covered shelter, installed electricity and potable water.

During the first four years we added concrete a taxi-way, concrete startup pads, heli and turbine start-up pads, central heated and air-conditioned clubhouse with a kitchen, septic system with indoor plumbing (men's and woman's).

Two years ago we got tired of paying $4500.00 or so to have the site commercially mowed so we bought our own commercial Kubota mower on a three year note from the bank. Our final annual payment ($3200) is this April and after that our bank balance will take a real shot in the arm. Some day we know we will have to look for another site and we also will have to rebuild the asphalt runway. When we do we will extend it to 600 ft.

It helps if you have members with skills that can help turn a pasture into a flying facility. Getting friendly with a local bank also helps. There are a lot of considerations in buying land. in 1990 we are "far out" in the country. Today, we are not so "far out" anymore but the value of our land has increased. Last appraisal we did for insurance purposes (1999) the appraised value was $3450/acre. As with owning a house, there are numerous annual expenses that must also be considered so you need to have a good working budget and a membership base to support owning a facility. Our adult membership is capped at 125 and this year we had 120 members. Our annual budget is somewhere in the $13,000 range although we "zero base" at 90 members just in case we have an "off year" and also helps insure we end up with some surplus.

Hope this helps.


Dan
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:27 PM
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Default Fort Worth, Texas Planesmen !

The Fortworth, Texas Planesmen have a club owned field. It is on Hwy 377 south of the Benbrook area. Good size, fenced, well groomed grass field. Great bunch of old grey headed farts that love those airplanes be it R/C, Free Flight or Ukie! Club dues $35.00 and a one time assessment of $150.00 and you own a place to stand!
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Old 11-21-2002, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: club owned flying sites?

Originally posted by Dream_Flyer
Do any of the people here with clubs own there own flying sites?

And If so how did the club go about it?


Trying to get away from leasing and the trouble of having to find land to lease.
In the Houston area, a number of clubs own their fields. Space City, Northwest, Barnstormers, Jetero, and I am sure there are several others.
"How to go about it?" Many ways. First you have to find the property and then you have to buy it.
After you buy it, then the real problems happen, developing it, constantly maintaining and improving it, and that doesn't come cheap.
One item that is always a hassle is that there are many people that will use every excuse in the book to get to fly at your excellent facility and yet not become a member. Then when you cut them off, they go all over the town badmouthing those terrible unfriendly XXX members. Just get use to it and let it ride.

Back to the property purchase: I suggest a somewhat remote location. That will be an initial problem because of those that don't wish to be more than a stone's throw from the field. Get an area as level as you can obtain, yet well drained.
This would take a book, so let me tell you a possible way to finance the property that is often overlooked.
Do you have a member or someone known that has an individual IRA with a significant sum of money in interest bearing notes?
There is a company, Sterling Trust, in Waco TX that specializes in IRAs and will hold them in Real Estate.
An IRA holder can transfer the funds to Sterling (or others if selected) and purchase the property for cash. Then he finances the club's purchase from his account, and receives the mortgage notes back as in any investment banking deal.
That club member should never be an officer in the club as that could be a problem, especially with the IRS watching how one invests *their* money.
It has worked very well for Jetero RC, Inc. Jetero negotiated with the account owner, a 30 year amortization, at 6% for 5 years and a balloon note with guaranteed renewal, the interest at prime per 1 year increments. Yep - NOW it's VERY good for JETERO. Oh Well, beats Enron!!!

Sterling TRUST, Waco, TX. Check 'em out.
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Old 11-21-2002, 03:29 PM
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Default club owned flying sites?

This subject has been talked about around our area now and again. We east of the big trail have a problem that folks west of it don't. Finding a suitable flat spot without a lot of obstruction. Maine is the Pine Tree State for a reason. We're also the "State without 5 square feet of flat" thanks to those pesky glaciers that made their way thru a few years ago. Another "problem" we have is that our state is the size of all the other New England states combined with under twice population of Boston (whose area covers only 48 square miles).
We do have a number of flying fields throughout the state but only 1 or 2 that even come close to handling anything larger than a 1/4 scale Cub and only 1 that can handle jets and its future is shaky at best. The idea of buying a plot of land (does 10 acres - square acres or 2x5? - provide enough overfly?) will require more than one club. I have broached the subject of a club that centers on the field (as opposed to a field that centers on a club). That is, locate a plot of land that will allow easy access to the greatest number of interested folks (NOW who do I sound like??). It is clear that we will probably have to start with some serious wood harvesting and earth moving.
Dues would have to be commensurate with the field needs but $100 a year sounds fair. A combination of flyers and benefactors would be nice. So would winning the lottery!
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Old 11-21-2002, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Club owned sites

Originally posted by dant
In 1990 we purchased 10 acres in the country for $2500.00/acre.
I was under the impression that you need a lot more than 10 acres for a flying field, even for .40 sized airplanes. Was I wrong, or do you have permission to fly over adjoining property?
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Old 11-21-2002, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: club owned flying sites?

Trying to get away from leasing and the trouble of having to find land to lease.
The obvious alternative in many parts of the U.S. is public land. Getting it takes political skills and you can't count on having the land forever. The two clubs I fly at in the Wash D.C. area fly on public land. On one of them the County gov't also provides the porta-potty, mowing, and driveway maintenance.

The downside is we have to live with plane-eating trees!
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Old 11-21-2002, 06:46 PM
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Default our 10 acres

Nic and others:

Correct, you will need more than 10 acres to cover overfly. I doubt you can realistically purchase ample overfly to accommodate all types of RC flying (unless you are a large corporation with a large member base - say in excess of 100,000). In our situation, we bought 10 acres out of a large pasture and developed that. At that time we had first rights on another 50 acres but we deemed it not necessary to invest in those acres after working with the original owner of the land (the "farmer"). We lease two 5 acre areas, one on each end of our facility, in order to provide runway runoff and keep cow fences from bordering our facility. This costs us a total of $250/year for the entire 10 acres. In addition, we now have overfly rights to another 130 or so acres of pure pasture and our 10 acres controls the county road access to the "prime" part of the pasture real estate. Acreage to the North of our facility sits in a small rural "flood plane" as does the county road which would limit any immediate further development (all of this land is owned or controlled by "the farmer"). We also own the rural water line that feeds the area (a gift from the previous owner - a circuit court judge's widow).

Our closest neighbor is a church 1 mile away.

Overfly would be a big concern so that any land purchase would have to allow for this also. We were fortunate in our situation. Normally, at least in our part of the country - Oklahoma - rural land is rural until one day you wake up and the developers are there. Until then, we can just fly from our own facility over pure rural pasture land.

When (not if - when) the developers come our acreage is in the prime location and we will sell, take the proceeds (which should be much more than our investment) and go somewhere else.

A non-purchase option might be to locate a large landfill and negotiate the use of that. Not a lot of commercial or other development happens on land fills and they usually cover a lot of area. I talked with Dawn Ellsey at our last fan fly a couple of years ago and she said that is what her club did in Ft. Worth and, at that time, it was really a "win-win" situation.

So, for now we just enjoy what we have.

edit starts here:

I forgot. Our 10 acres is a box, 660 ft by 660 ft (or, I believe, one square furlong).



Dan
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