The University of Maine Flying Club (also known as the Aviation Club) has kicked off their semester with a new president and a new set of goals to achieve. David Stansfield, a second-year mechanical engineer student, is the club president and is hoping to attract more students to the club who are passionate about flying.
The club was founded in 1970 and has members that include UMaine students as well as people from the outside community. Upon paying membership fees and flying fees, members can fly in one of the two planes that the club owns. Cessna 172 is the newer plane owned by the club, which can seat four. This plane was donated to the club with a retail value of around $250,000.
“We are very lucky to have had this donated to us,” Stansfield said.
The club also owns a Cessna 152, which seats two people. These planes are kept at Bangor International Airport.
Joining the club is a very easy process, according to Stansfield. Those interested are encouraged to attend meetings, even if they do not necessarily want to fly the plane. After attending meetings, members are required to pay a fee for membership, and those who want to fly then pay another fee to cover gas and other expenses.
Stansfield recommends that those who may not want to fly still attend meetings.
“Being a no fly member still has its benefits,” he said. “This is more about interest versus being able to fly. You can still go on the plane with the pilot, you just don’t need ground school experience.”
Ground school is not required in order to be a member of this club, but is highly recommended.
“My goal as club president is to make this club more interactive and to meet more frequently. I would also like to create a more collective group of individuals. I like teamwork,” Stansfield said.
The club currently meets once a month in the FFA room of the Union, but Stansfield hopes to schedule in a few extra nights a month that fit everyone’s schedules.
One of the trips that Stansfield is hoping to take his club members on is a flight to the Bangor Air National Guard Base. From here, members can see all of the air traffic as well as control it.
For those interested in being a member of the UMaine Flying Club, Stansfield encourages students to talk to him and attend a meeting. The club is currently working on updating their social media and plan to have an up-to-date Facebook page within the next few weeks.
“Flying is an unforgettable experience,” Stansfield said.
The UMaine Flying Club’s next meeting is on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the FFA room of the Union.