Fly-Over Friday!

Please be aware that on Friday, May 15th starting at 9:30 AM, crews from the Idaho National Guard and Mountain Home Air Force Base will be teaming up to fly over area medical facilities in honor of Idaho’s medical workers, first responders, and all essential workers.  The Treasure Valley and Southern/Eastern Idaho schedules are included in this post.

Please enjoy this event and help others to enjoy the event by practicing physical distancing.  If you plan to fly on Friday, pay special attention to local NOTAM’s and TFR’s!  Physical distancing includes staying out of the way of military aircraft when flying!

N759ZU gets several new goodies!

With so much down time in recent weeks, our mechanic was able to catch up on some of our backlog and upgrades to N759ZU are now complete!
Here is a list of new goodies:
  1. Gross weight increase to 3100 lbs:  This is ~150 lbs more than before!  Note, only land with 3100 lbs during emergencies, and if you can, burn off extra fuel to reduce the load before landing.
  2. Horsepower increase to 252 hp (up from 230 hp):  This is the John Jewell 182-252 STC, which basically modifies the carburetor and allows the beefy O-470-U to run at a higher RPM (i.e., higher redline).  This upgrade is supposed to increase the cruise speed by 5-8 knots at gross weight and increase the climb rate by 400 fpm between 7,000 and 11,000 feet.  It should also make the engine last longer.  Note the 131 knot ground speed at 4,500 ft MSL and only 23″ MP by 2300 rpm.  Push up the rpm a bit higher and go faster!  (Keep doing what you already do to watch EGT and CHT to not run over-rich or too lean, and as always, mind your cowl flaps.)
  3. Rosen visors:  No longer do we have to battle those cheap, puny Cessna stock visors.  We have good visors for those beautiful, sunny morning flights to the east or picturesque evening flights to the west!
  4. 8’s on the mains and larger nose gear:  For those of you who like to fly in the backcountry, now 9ZU has Cessna 206 size gear.  This is large enough to take a slightly rougher strip than we would prefer on the stock gear, yet not large enough to rival that of a sasquatch!
Please stay safe and healthy!  Enjoy!

Governor Orders Stay-at-Home – 21 Days – Impacts to PAC

Members of Ponderosa Aero Club:

I just watched live as the Governor Little ordered everyone in Idaho to “stay-at-home” for 21 days, effective immediately. This applies to all non-essential workers. Despite our belief that a club member being close to a checkride means that we are essential, this is not how the governor sees it. I understand how frustrating this can be for many of you. Please understand that we have been doing as much as we could to keep you flying safely, and we will continue to do this in the future.

All reservations on MyFBO will be canceled with a maintenance block. Please do not dispatch aircraft nor meet at the Club. Staff and CFI’s will need to be at home and not at the Club. Please do not disregard this executive order by the governor.

On the more positive side, we should all be researching the available economic stimulus that was just passed by Congress. My understanding is that unemployment benefits are available and increased for “gig workers,” which I believe would include CFI’s.

Absent physically flying during this period, this can be a great opportunity to brush up on ground materials at home, stream commercial flight instruction videos online, or watch Top Gun (even if it is for the tenth time for some of us). We plan to have our Redbird TD2 flight simulator delivered to the Club as soon as the stay-at-home order is lifted. Prior to today, Emily has been spending time cleaning and polishing airplanes and SP has been at work making sure routine maintenance and upgrades are complete. Ponderosa will come out of this down time ready to fly again!

While much of this news might feel especially alarming, as it certainly affects people’s livelihood, a shutdown of the Club for three weeks is not unlike other temporary shutdowns of the past. We’ve had major challenges to our ability to dispatch during wildfire seasons, temporary flight restrictions, and we will never forget 911. We have had times with very limited or no flying for weeks at a time in the past, just as we are having it now. Together, we will weather this storm.

I will continue to email periodically to keep you apprised of any other major developments. Thank for for being patient and thank you for being a part of Ponderosa Aero Club!


David Keil

GM, Ponderosa Aero Club

New CFI Rates, Effective 4/15/2020

The billing rates for the Club’s CFI’s will be changing, effective 4/15/2020.  These rates are updated to reflect two things: (1) each CFI’s changes in take-home pay, and (2) a $20/hour surcharge being added by the Club to recover the cost of administering the 141 program.

In 2019, the Club spent approximately $12,800 in Part 141 CFI standardization and currency training.  The cost of this Part 141 CFI standardization and currency training was being paid out of member dues and fees.  By adding this surcharge, the Club members who benefit from having a 141 program are the Club members who pay for the overhead of having a 141 program.

Updated rates are posted in the Club office.



T210 Name Change

The owners of the Club’s nice, new-to-the-club Turbo 210 have spared no expense in getting this airplane ready for their use and that of qualified Club members.  It really looks beautiful, is full of fancy avionics, and includes a built-in oxygen system.  One other more sentimental change is that its tail number is now N886KH.  This airplane was special in so many ways, and it now has even greater value.  If you want to know why this tail number is so special, just ask someone from the Ponderosa staff.



Is Club aircraft ownership right for you?

Have you ever wanted to own an aircraft and have been worried that you won’t fly it enough?  Are you or a family member looking to build time and want some of the costs of flying to go back in your pocket?  Do you have a plane that doesn’t fly much any more and you just can’t bring yourself to sell it?

Then putting an airplane in Ponderosa Aero Club could be just the right fit.

Please see David (PAC General Manager) if this sounds appealing to you.


Annual and Monthly Dues

As you know, the Club’s operations are funded mostly through annual and monthly dues.  To avoid large dues increases in the future, and to keep pace with the costs of club operations (e.g., annual rent increases, replacement of decades-old computers, etc.), Club management plans to raise annual and monthly dues by March 2020.  The last time dues were increased was over one year ago. 

Beginning in March 2020, first year annual dues will increase to $300.  The next four years will remain at $175/year.  Monthly dues will increase to $99/month and the $30 fly-back credit will continue to be applied to monthly dues for month’s in which a member flies (net $69/month).  Associate member dues will increase to $99/year.

If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call or email David.

Welcome to PAC, Emily!

We are excited to welcome our newest club staff member, Emily Foster!  Emily recently moved to Idaho from California, but not before she finished working toward her private pilot license.  She climbed the ranks of her Civil Air Patrol Squadron, is active in her church and community, and even has a nomination to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy!  Well, before the Air Force takes her, we get to avail of her strong work ethic and friendly personality, and help her complete earning her private pilot license!

Welcome aboard, Emily!!


Santa’s reindeer…

…are tucked away and waiting to take flight. Eight tucked away in the “stable” and a little one with a red nose to lead the way.