Professional Pilot
What is the difference between Delta Flight 1435 from SFO to SAN and Cessna 756RA from OAK to MYF?  No, that is not the start of an Irish Limerick.  I constantly hear people refer to “professional pilots” yet I’ve been pondering what that actually means.  I know that some people think it means you fly large aircraft with 150 passengers in back.  It doesn’t.  Some people think professional pilots always get paid for flying airplanes.  They don’t.  Others think that professional pilots receive more training.  Not quite.  

When you have a sickness or injury that requires medical attention, you look for the non-professional doctor right?  Legal problems?  Let’s go see the un-professional lawyer, yes?  I’m certain these thoughts never cross your mind.  So when your neighbor wants you to take them around the bay for a sightseeing tour, do they ask you if you are a professional or a non-professional pilot.  I think not.  

If you are a pilot, you are a professional pilot.  It really is that simple.  Webster defines the adjective professional as:
  • aof, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
  • bengaged in one of the learned professions
  • c (1)characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
  • c (2)exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
“Characteristic of a profession.”  When you receive your pilot certificate, you become a professional.  Anything less is not acceptable.
  • Are you concerned with your passengers’ safety and making it to your destination safely?
  • Do you plan your flight to ensure you have met any required regulations based on the type of flight you will be conducting (IFR/VFR)?
  • Do you check weather before departing to ensure you have an accurate picture of the conditions you will encounter en-route?
  • Do you get updated weather en-route if forecast weather is not as expected?
  • Do you debrief yourself at the conclusion of every flight and look for improvements you can make?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you ARE a professional pilot.  If you use ATC services, including IFR flights through the National Airspace System, you are absolutely no different than Delta 1435 above.  The only difference is the altitude and speed of your airplane.  Of course there is extra training for the airline pilots.  There is also extra training moving from a Cessna to a Piper to a Beechcraft.  Does WHAT you fly make you any less of a professional pilot?  No.  If you are still unsure or unconvinced that you are, in fact, a professional pilot than think about the following:
  • Commit to a debrief after every flight:  Debrief yourself about what went right, what went wrong, and what you can do to improve for the next time.
  • Commit to some kind of pilot training every year:  This could be a new rating, certificate, endorsement or just a course that maybe teaches you some new avionics.  
  • Commit to sounding better on the radio:  Many pilots think their radio skills are top notch.  Yet every day, I hear pilots responding to “standby,” failure to read back runway assignments with taxi instructions and always starting a radio call with “and.”
  • Commit to adhering to all appropriate regulations for your flight:  91.103 has a lot of required “to do’s” for all of your cross country flights. 
  • Commit to being a better pilot…
Immerse yourself in all of the things that may possibly make you even more professional than you are now.  Read all you can about flying, safety, accident reports, etc.  Think it can’t happen to you?  It can.  Attend all things aviation.  This includes Club and non-Club events, FAASTeam events, seminars, and other aviation-related events.  

If this sounds too difficult or time consuming, no problem.  Just let me know before you head to your next doctor’s appointment and I’ll get you in contact with a non-professional doctor.  His name, Curtis Springer and he lives off of Zzyzx Rd.  Look him up.

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Plus One Flyers - Membership Agreement

Section A:  Agreement

I hereby certify that all the information on this membership form is true to the best of my knowledge.  I understand that any falsification shall be grounds for disqualification or forfeiture of my membership.  I have received, read, understand, and agree to abide by the Plus One Flyers, Inc. (the “Club”) Bylaws and Operational Rules.  In particular, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to be bound by Section 4.8 of the Bylaws, which states that I shall be responsible for any damages or abuse to an aircraft that I am using.  I also acknowledge that I have read and agree to be bound by Section 4.8.3 of the Bylaws, which provides that I shall not seek to hold Plus One Flyers, Inc. legally responsible for my acts while operating a Club aircraft which results in damages or injuries, whether to myself or others. I further acknowledge that I have read and agree to be bound by Article VII of the Bylaws, which provides that I shall be fiscally responsible for my dues, timely flight payments and any collection fees.

In the event that any damages are assessed against the Club as a result of my acts or negligence, I shall be solely responsible for the payment of those damages and for any legal fees or costs incurred by the Club in defending itself.  As set forth by Article VII in the Plus One Flyers Inc. Bylaws, each member, and their heirs, successors, personal representative and assigns, release, acquit, and covenant not to sue, and  shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Club, its officers, directors, agents and employees for any liability, losses, or damages that I or the Club may suffer as a result of an act by, or negligence of, the member while operating a Club aircraft. Each member must acknowledge and agree that he or she is accepting and using any and all Club aircraft in a used, “as is” condition and that the Club does not and has not repaired, reconditioned, or maintained any Club aircraft.  Each member must agree to assume all risks, and assumes full responsibility for risk of bodily injury, death or property damage associated with any Club aircraft and not to seek to hold the Club legally responsible for any such defects in Club aircraft before being allowed to use and fly Club aircraft.

Finally, I understand, should I resign from the Club, my resignation notice (form) must be given in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to leaving the Club and that I will return my club key(s) on or before my resignation date, which is effective the 1st day of the next month following that 30 day period. Membership remains effective until terminated under the terms of this Agreement.

I also agree and understand that:

A.     I will not allow non-members, whether pilots or not, to operate Plus One Flyers Aircraft because they are not insured through Plus One Flyers.  All flight instructors instructing in Club Aircraft must be members of Plus One Flyers, Inc., and be authorized by the club’s Safety Program.

B.     I will not operate Club Aircraft if my FAA medical or Flight Review is not current.

C.     I will not operate Club Aircraft for hire, either under Part 91 or Part 135 of the FAR’s, because the Club’s insurance does not cover such operations.

D.     I, alone, am personally and financially responsible if I participate in any uninsured operations of Club Aircraft.

E.     I will maintain and promptly notify the Club of any changes to my telephone numbers, billing address, email, and credit/debit card(s) information by updating this information myself in Schedule Master.          Initial here_________

F.     I will promptly notify Plus One Flyers if I am involved in an aircraft accident, even if it is not a Plus One Flyers Aircraft.

G.     I authorize my bank or credit/debit card company/companies to make monthly or yearly (as specified in Section B) payments to Plus One Flyers, Inc. and post it to my account.                               

H.     I authorize my bank or credit/debit card company/companies to make payments for possible collections for errors or non-payments of flights to Plus One Flyers, Inc. and post it to my account.

I will promptly and regularly submit updated copies of my Medical Certificate and Flight Review to the Club’s Membership Officer.


Section B:  Automatic Payment and Credit/Debit Card(s) Guarantee

The credit/debit card(s) you provide on this form and/or in Schedule Master serve as your payment guarantee and is required in your Schedule Master Membership account to enable and maintain your airplane scheduling privileges. Plus One Flyers will charge your card(s) and email you an invoice for any payment shortages.  Any dispute regarding a charge can be handled by the Club Membership Officer.  If an error results in an amount owed you, Plus One Flyers will credit your Schedule Master account balance unless you request a refund check.

Membership Dues are $29.00 monthly, charged to your credit/debit card(s) or if available, against a pre-paid credit balance.  Paying Annual Dues means you maintain a pre-paid credit balance that is reduced by $31.00 monthly until zero and if you elect to continue to pay Annual dues, you are responsible for pre-paying the appropriate amount each year.  There is a $129.50 initiation fee for new members and renewing members, except for those members renewing while serving active duty in U.S. Armed Services.  If there is a change in dues you will receive a thirty day notice by email and a message will be posted in Schedule Master. Your account will be charged on the 1st of every month if you choose the monthly option.  An email invoice will be sent to you every month.  It is your responsibility to view your invoices/account to verify that your payment has been made.  You are responsible for ensuring your card(s) remains current and that if it expires or your billing address changes you alone are responsible for updating that information in Schedule Master.  If your bill has not been paid your scheduling privileges will be automatically suspended until it is paid.  If three consecutive dues invoices remain unpaid your membership will automatically terminate and a $99.00 initiation fee plus the past due balance will be required to reinstate your membership.  If you take no action your account may be sent to a collection agency.

Keep your billing address and email address and card(s) current in your Schedule Master Membership Account. Plus One Flyers is not responsible for ensuring your email system allows Schedule Master or other Club emails to reach you.  You will receive an automatic email one month prior to the expiration of your card in Schedule Master.  Plus One Flyers is a PCI-DSS-compliant e-commerce and POS credit card processing merchant.  See the Club’s Privacy Policy for more about how we protect your private information.                                                                                              

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