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Member Survey/Audit. Prepared by Schwartz Consulting Partners for: The Pinellas Pilot’s Association March, 2008. Background. January 2008 : Accident involving PPA member owned aircraft (N7100Q) led to inquiry regarding acquisition of new member owned aircraft

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Member survey audit

Member Survey/Audit

Prepared by Schwartz Consulting Partners for:

The Pinellas Pilot’s Association

March, 2008



  • January 2008: Accident involving PPA member owned aircraft (N7100Q) led to inquiry regarding acquisition of new member owned aircraft

  • February 2008: Schwartz Consulting Partners, Inc. agrees conduct an internal audit on behalf of the PPA utilizing an online survey research tool

    • Survey 34 questions in length

    • User IDs utilized to ensure data security

    • Blind study with results completely anonymous

  • March 2008: Survey results tabulated and presented to PPA members and leadership

Reason for joining the ppa

Reason for joining the PPA

Why did you originally decide to join the Pinellas Pilot’s Association?

  • “Affordable flying, primarily for trips”

  • “Was looking for a way to fly at a price lower than single ownership or renting”

  • “Friends belonged, superbly maintained airplane, reasonable costs”

  • “To facilitate obtaining my private license. It seemed to be the economical way to go”

  • “Inexpensive way to fly, especially for weekend trips. The only way to fly to the Bahamas”

  • “To be able to fly at a reasonable cost”

  • “To fly”

  • “To keep single engine current and to be able to take my family on some trips”

  • “Excellent aircraft, inexpensive, obtain PPC and additional ratings”

  • “To learn to fly at cheaper rates and then to have a plane that is affordable”

  • “In order to stay current flying light aircraft”

  • “A great way to fly economically and make friends as well”

  • “To fly, safely and cost effectively”

  • “Lower rental costs and familiarity with same aircraft”

11 out of 14 members surveyed mentioned costs as a factor motivating their decision to join the PPA

Expected duration of membership

Expected Duration of Membership

How long do you expect to maintain your membership in the PPA?

85.7% of members intend to maintain their membership in the PPA for 5 or more years

Average monthly flight time

Average Monthly Flight Time

How many hours (per month) did you typically fly the club’s aircraft before the accident?

When omitting outlying member (average 10 hours per month for each period) mean flight times decrease to 2.32, 1.85, and 2.50 hours respectively

Barriers to additional flight time

Barriers to Additional Flight Time

What, if anything, is preventing you from flying more hours than you otherwise would like to fly per month? (select all that apply)

  • Other Reasons Provided:

  • “Work”

  • “I fly for a living and thus am current”

  • “License”

  • “I just joined the PPA”

  • “Roomier aircraft (cockpit/cabin)”

“Weather” and “Time” were the two most commonly cited reasons for not flying more often

Factors limiting club size

Factors Limiting Club Size

Which of the following do you believe should be factors limiting the size of the club?

Preferred Limits (Average):

- Number of Members: 17.5

- Number of Aircraft: 1.3

- Members p/Aircraft: 15.5

Nearly all members favored instituting a limit on the number of members per aircraft, with a reported average preference of 15.5 members per a/c

Acceptance of student pilots

Acceptance of Student Pilots

Should the PPA continue to accept student pilots (primary – PPL) as members?

Nearly two-thirds of members support continuing to allow student pilots to join the PPA

Acceptance of student pilots maybe verbatims

Acceptance of Student Pilots – Maybe Verbatims

  • Reasons given for “maybe” responses to the question of whether or not to continue to admit student pilot members to the club:

    • Not sure what impact [a student] has on the licensed pilots*

    • Limit student pilots to take away some of the burden on the instructors to fly more than they would like*

    • “If it saves on insurance costs, I would say no. Also, if we get a higher performance aircraft I would also say no. Plus then we could make ‘flying references’ a requirement for entry”

    • “No I’m unsure”

    • “Students will typically want to use the plane for a couple of hours every Saturday which will prevent weekend trips for others”

* = Response paraphrased to conceal the identity of the respondent

Secondary aircraft usage

Secondary Aircraft Usage

If the PPA were to purchase a secondary, two-place aircraft (such as a Cessna 150/152) which of the following would apply to your expected use of that aircraft?

About 1 in 5 members responded that they would never fly the two-place aircraft – half indicated that they would use it for training purposes

Relative usage primary secondary aircraft

Relative Usage – Primary/Secondary Aircraft

If the PPA were to purchase both a primary (four-place or more) and secondary (two-place) aircraft, what percentage of your monthly flight time do you believe would be spent flying each aircraft? (provide two numbers that add to 100)?

Max: 100%

Max: 80%

Min: 20%

Min: 0%

Lines imposed on graph represent range of responses provided – values are mean percentages

Maximum fixed monthly costs

Maximum Fixed Monthly Costs

Each member currently pays $100 per month in fixed costs. What is the maximum amount per month you would be willing to pay to cover these costs in the future?

Max: $250

Max: $150

Min: $100

Min: $100

Members were willing to pay, on average, $36 per month more for the inclusion of a second aircraft

Maximum hourly usage costs

Maximum Hourly Usage Costs

We paid $62.50 per hour (wet) for flight time in N7100Q. What is the maximum amount you would be willing to pay per hour for a primary and secondary aircraft?

Max: $90

Max: $90

Min: $65

Max: $0

When removing “$0.00” responses from secondary aircraft, average increases to $57.72

Primary aircraft descriptives

Primary Aircraft - Descriptives

Should the aircraft be…

High Performance?



Carbureted/Fuel Injected?

Primary aircraft seating

Primary Aircraft Seating

How many seats should the primary aircraft have?

Nearly 86% of members preferred a 4 seat aircraft – the remaining 14% indicated no preference

High wing vs low wing

High Wing vs. Low Wing

Do you have a preference between ‘high wing’ or ‘low wing’ aircraft?

Reasons for High Wing preference

-”Greater visibility for traffic avoidance”

-”Keep you out of the sun and out of the rain”

-”Line of site and keeping cool in the summer”

-”More experience in high wing, better visibility”

-”More familiar with high wing, better for passenger sight seeing”

-”Safer to land and easier to control”

-”That’s just what I’m used to – easier to preflight”

No members indicated a preference for low wing aircraft

Preferred make model

“A 172 is most practical, but a Cirrus SR22 would be a good addition if affordable for its increased speed and service ceiling”

“Anything that is supposed to fly carrying 3-6 people is fine by me. The engine would be 180hp or greater if possible”

“C-172, 172XP, 182 – Again, most of my experience is in these types of aircraft and I am impressed with their safety record”

“Anything with some shoulder and elbow room – 172s are too cramped”

“C-182/C-172XP or SP”

“Cessna 172 – I was happy with the aircraft we had, would like to see it replaced with something similar”


“Cessna 172, 172XP, 177, 182 – I think we can get a good deal and I like the way they fly. Plenty of parts and people to work on them”

“Cessna 172, it’s the aircraft that everyone in the club signed up for. Everyone seems happy with 7100Q”

“Cessna 172/177/182 – More familiar with Cessna high wing”

“Cessna because I am used to flying it”

“Cessna Cardinal, 182, 210, possibly a Mooney”

“I think that a C172SP with good instrumentation would be great for all, especially the pilots working on instrument ratings. The Piper Archer is also a very reliable airplane with good performance”

“No particular preference “

Preferred Make/Model

Do you have a preference between ‘high wing’ or ‘low wing’ aircraft?

Oldest aircraft to be considered

Oldest Aircraft to be Considered

What is the oldest aircraft the club should consider when looking at primary aircraft? In other words, what is the maximum age that the club should even consider looking at?

Computed average age: 29.1 years

Target oldest engine age

Target/Oldest Engine Age

In terms of engine hours, hold old of an engine should the PPA target? Please provide both an ideal/target age that you would prefer, and the oldest engine you think the club should consider. Assume overhaul would be required after 2000 hours

Max: 2000

Max: 1000

Min: 500

Min: 0

Values represent average age of the engine in hours based on a 2000 hour overhaul

Lowest exterior interior condition acceptable

Lowest Exterior/Interior Condition Acceptable

If you were to rate an aircraft's exterior on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor, and 10 being excellent - what would be the lowest acceptable exterior/interior rating you would be willing to accept for a primary aircraft?

Max: 7

Max: 7

Min: 4

Min: 3

The average lowest acceptable condition (on a 10 point scale) were identical for both exterior and interior conditions

Maximum minimum price range primary a c

Maximum/Minimum Price Range – Primary A/C

What price range should we consider for the purchase of a new primary aircraft (assuming that this rate will affect loan payments and insurance costs)?

Max: $100,000

Min: $62,000

Max: $55,000

Min: $40,000

Members largely in agreement on minimum price, as indicated by narrow range of responses

Upfront costs

Upfront Costs

How much would you be willing to be assessed up front by the club for a new, primary aircraft? This would serve to lower monthly dues and increase the share price.

Max: $5000

Max: $3000

Min: $0

Min: $0

Considerable differences exist across the membership with regards to the amount each member is willing to pay up front to defer costs



Would you be willing to be a guarantor of the loan?

Nearly three-quarters of the membership indicated that they would at least consider being a guarantor of the loan

Optional equipment com radios

Optional Equipment – COM Radios

[Scaled 1 to 4: 4 = Should be Required; 1 = Do not want this in the a/c]

Strong preference for two COM radios, although members equally satisfied with either one or both being digital

Optional equipment nav radios

Optional Equipment – NAV Radios

[Scaled 1 to 4: 4 = Should be Required; 1 = Do not want this in the a/c]

Dual VORs preferred – members slightly prefer only one having ILS capability, however

Optional equipment other nav equipment

Optional Equipment – Other NAV Equipment

[Scaled 1 to 4: 4 = Should be Required; 1 = Do not want this in the a/c]

Members preferred an analog transponder over a digital one; Weak preference for IFR GPS and ADF

Optional equipment weather auto pilot mfd

Optional Equipment – Weather/Auto-Pilot/MFD

[Scaled 1 to 4: 4 = Should be Required; 1 = Do not want this in the a/c]

Members preferred single axis auto pilot capabilities over dual axis auto pilot

Optional equipment engine instrumentation

Optional Equipment – Engine Instrumentation

[Scaled 1 to 4: 4 = Should be Required; 1 = Do not want this in the a/c]

Comparable preferences across each of the engine instruments

Optional equipment intercom misc equipment

Optional Equipment – Intercom/Misc. Equipment

[Scaled 1 to 4: 4 = Should be Required; 1 = Do not want this in the a/c]

Definite preference for four place intercom over two place system

Final thoughts input

“152s and 172s are too cramped – prefer an aircraft with easier entry and exit, and more cabin space. Don’t want complex aircraft. Keep it simple”

“Get an aircraft equipped similar to 00Q”

“I think if we decide to purchase 2 aircraft, they should both be 4-place – just gives you many more options for not a lot of money”

“I think we should continue with one aircraft first, before considering a second aircraft”

I think with regards to cost or upfront money, it depends on the aircraft. If we find a great bird at a little higher cost then I might put in more money. I do want to keep hourly costs to a minimum”

“If we can afford 2 4-seaters I think that would make everyone happy”

“Thank you”

“The PPA is a very unique organization and should remain so for a very very long time. I would like to see the PPA grow to multiple A/C so even more pilots could enjoy inexpensive flight”

We might consider utilizing PayPal for monthly dues – that way those of us who earn miles might be able to charge our monthly fees on our credit cards. I would be willing to pay a small fee for this”

When legal matters are resolved and money is available, enlist all resources local and distant to locate and purchase a replacement aircraft

Final Thoughts/Input

Member survey audit

Schwartz Consulting Partners, Inc.

5027 West Laurel Street

Tampa, Florida 33607

T: 813.207.0332

F: 813.207.0717

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