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President's Report - 2014-2015

The Year in Summary

One of the biggest challenges for any small aero club is that they neither have the scale or resources to easily overcome the major changes that come up. We started the year without a full time CFI. The extensive recruitment process that we conducted to find a permanent CFI resulted in several good candidates, and during this process we were also presented with an option to outsource the flight and training operations to an independent operator. Going through the recruitment process made us really consider what our club is about and we confirmed that it is a membership club – with members contributing their efforts for the membership. This help us to stick with our thorough recruitment process and we managed to get Andrew Sims (Simsy) on board in late November.

Simsy was a former C-Cat instructor at the club and he has done a great job in leading the team and building the flying hours back up. I have to say the vibe at the club has improved a great deal thanks to the energy Simsy has bought with him along with a committed and enthusiastic instructing team, consisting of Jelle and Iain, who recently joined us, along with support from a great team of casual contractor staff, mostly working full time as pilots but who enjoy instructing in their spare time and give their time to help out (more on that later).

With the major changes in the first half of the year it was a tough environment to operate in, with the club being forced to close some days due to lack of supervision for our C-Cat instructors. We will always be faced with this challenge when key people move on, but we are making succession planning a key focus area to ensure continuity going forward and therefore minimising this disruption. As usual the other biggest impact on the club is the weather. The number and frequency of flyable weekend days hugely influences our operations. A bad run of weather results in people getting out-of-sync flying, as we all know – consistency is key.

Another major goal that we focussed on this year involved updating the business plan for next five years. Andrew Braddick has presented this in an easy-to-read format we can more easily digest. We look for your feedback on this tonight.

To read the rest of Derrick's report, click on the link below to download.