The short story about Northern Colorado Flying Club

  Gary SchultzApr 13, 2020  

Northern Colorado Flying Club (NCFC) was formed in August 2016 in response to AOPA’s 2016 Flying Club Give Away challenge which was a program designed to promote the formation of flying clubs in the US by awarding a reconditioned Cessna C150 aircraft to a qualifying start-up Flying club.

At the time, there were no flying clubs operating at Northern Colorado Regional Airport (formerly Fort Collins – Loveland Municipal Airport) so a group of eight flyers joined hands in an effort to challenge for the AOPA prize. The application process was complex and thorough, drawing responses from more than 250 start-up clubs. Of those responding NCFC was one of only fifty-four applications which qualified to win the Cessna. However, it was not to be for NCFC as the plane was awarded to a Texas club.

So, there we were. A flying club without an aircraft. Over the next few months, the members (Ryan, Derek, Adam, Mike, Rick, Andrew, Ryan and Gary) tossed around ideas about how to acquire a plane. Since there seemed to be no good lease options, we all chipped in and purchased our first Piper PA28-180 (N9366J) a 1966 Cherokee C.

We were flying N9366J for the better part of a year when a hail storm hit the KFNL ramp just days before we got a hangar for her. Although a bit dimpled, we continued to fly 66J while we filed an insurance claim for the damage. In the end, we were forced to surrender N9366J to the insurance carrier in November 2017 as a “beyond reasonable repair” (totaled) aircraft.

The following January 2018, we purchased N6642J a vintage 1968 PA28 180 Cherokee D, which has continued as our club aircraft to date.

The club has since grown to thirteen members consisting of, among others, airline and retired airline pilots, two CFI’s and two students. Twice yearly, once for the summer picnic, and again during the holiday season, we manage to get together with families to remember what’s really most important.

Where we go from here only time will tell. However we remain focused on our primary purpose as outline in our Bylaws.


  1. Northern Colorado Flying Club 501, Inc., hereinafter referred to as “NCFC” or the “Club” is an IRC Section 501 (c) (7) Tax Exempt Social and Recreational Club organized for the purpose of providing convenient, safe recreational flying at economical rates; and social fellowship among members through the acquisition, (purchase or lease) maintenance and operation of one or more aircraft for the education, training and general use by its members.

For more information about NCFC .. please visit our website at Or call Gary Schultz 970-999-2706 (cell or text)