About the Flying Club and its needs
Western Gästrike Flight Club was founded 50 years ago and currently has 100 members, including 20 active pilots. The flying club is located 200 km north of Stockholm and has its own airfield - with very well kept flying club facilities. “Over the years, we have traditionally flown Piper and Cessna aircraft and also invested in ultra light aircraft for a number of years now”, said Alf Persson, who is responsible for Private Pilot License (PPL) in the flying club. “The majority of our ultra light flying is increasing, and we currently have 9 students training to become pilots.”
The club had a PA28, reg.no. SE-FFF, equipped with a traditional aircraft engine, and it was very expensive in terms of fuel costs: Approx. 850 SEK/ hour (equal to EUR 97/ hour, ed.). As a result, the aircraft was standing in the hangar day after day, not being used by the pilots. “It was simply too expensive to take it out for a spin”, Alf Persson explains.
All in on ultra lights – or diesel conversion …?
So, the club had to consider what to do in terms of aircraft: All in on ultra lights…or…? Alf explains: “In the club, we discussed various solutions, including focusing on ultra light aircraft. The conclusion was, that if we wanted to keep using e.g. Piper aircraft, we had to minimize the hourly cost significantly.” They investigated the matter thoroughly, and long discussions and calculations lead to the trading-in of their Piper for a Piper Cadet with a 2.0 diesel engine, that Air Service Vamdrup had used as a demonstrator for the past three years.