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Since 1947, the Santa Barbara Flying Club has made flying less expensive, more convenient, less hassle, and more fun for generations of pilots in the Santa Barbara, California area.

About Us

The Santa Barbara Flying Club currently has two aircraft based at SBA: a Cessna 172 Skyhawk and a Grumman AA-5B Tiger.

Both planes are IFR certified. The Skyhawk has a GNS 430, and the Tiger has a GTN 650 touch screen (both are moving map combined GPS, ILS and COM1).

As a club we effectively rent these airplanes to ourselves for cost, so our members are guaranteed the best value for their money.

We use tach time billing. It's the most accurate way to account for expense and amounts to as much as a 30% discount, especially for students who typically have the power back much of the flight, doing maneuvers or "Touch and GOs".

Both planes have 4 place intercoms and can be scheduled on-line by our members for trips as long as 10 days with no minimum flight time requirement. That's perfect for cross country flights!

Better yet, as a member you receive your own set of keys to each airplane. This eliminates any last minute hassle from having to check in and out at a desk. It's as if you owned it, the airplane is waiting for you to arrive… 24/7.

Rates/Dues as of February 2016

Monthly Dues = $101/month

Flight time is billed according to Tach hour as follows:

C-172:  $115 / Tach hour

AA-5B:  $141 / Tach hour

Good news for the membership:

If you choose to self-serve fuel, in addition to being reimbursed for the fuel cost, you are credited for the difference between the full-serve and self-serve fuel rate (a difference of approximately $1.56/gallon at SBA at the time of this writing).  This yields effective rates approximately as follows:

C-172:  $102 / Tach hour

AA-5B:  $126 / Tach hour 

In addition, most FBOs offer aircraft billed according to Hobbs meter (and some also add a "fuel surcharge") which is less favorable.  For example, consider the cost of using an FBO-provided C-172 at a rate of $145/Hobbs hour, with that of using the SBFC C-172 with self-serve fuel.  The cost for the following two applications would be approximately as follows:

                                                                      SBFC      FBO

    Case 1:  45 minute for touch & go in pattern    $47     $109

    Case 2:  2 hour rental cross-country flight       $186    $290


Student Pilots are Welcome

 A pilot’s license is not required to join the club.  The club provides a very convenient means of taking lessons and earning a pilot license.  Experienced members are available to serve as mentors to student pilots.  Many of our current members learned to fly in the club and have continued to enjoy the club benefits. 

 One significant benefit is the reduced cost for getting a license as a club member compared with alternatives.  For example, a typical FBO/flight school might charge about $145/Hobbs-hour for a Cessna 172, while the club rate for our Cessna 172 is $115/TACH-hour.  (This is reduced to $102/TACH hour if the student pumps the fuel his/herself.)  Although, some flight schools might quote a price for getting a license with the minimum required 40 hours of flight, the number of hours is typically much higher (and at higher cost).  Requiring 50 – 60 hours, or more is not atypical. Below is a rough comparison of the cost to get a license as a club member and via a flight school as a function of the number of hours used:   

    Flight hours used                       40                    55                    70

    Flight school                             $7,989             $10,907           $13,824

    SBFC                                      $5,280             $7,260             $9,240

    Savings with SBFC                   $2,709             $3,647             $4,584

Please note that these are estimates based on a number of detailed assumptions (which will be provided for those interested).  Your “mileage could vary substantially depending on how you drive.”


Want to find out more about the Club? Click here.

Santa Barbara Flying Club
Santa Barbara Flying Club

What's the Best Part About Our Club?

The best part about our club is the low member to airplane ratio which allows easy access to planes when you want to fly.  The club works well for students of all phases of instruction, sightseers and cross-country enthusiasts.