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Aero Club receives 5 star rating

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amber Kelly-Woodward
  • 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Staff members at the Scott Aero Club, who provide flight training, safety meetings and weather briefings, do their jobs so well that they recently received a five-star rating for the fourth consecutive time. 

They received this rating through an inspection performed by the Air Force Services Agency from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, which assesses Force Support facilities. To earn a five-star rating, a facility needs to score 95 percent or better in operations, programs, training, facility and customer service. 

"Really it's the members," said Sandy Lang, Aero Club manager. "Anytime I ask for something, the members jump to it, and I appreciate that." 

She explained that many people take advantage of the Aero Club because they offer reasonable rates and they do not have to pay insurance. 

"A private pilot certification costs about $7,500 and at a civilian place it would cost $9,000-$10,000." 

John Tucker, a retired fireman of 20 years from Ventura County, Calif, is using the Scott Aero Club to achieve his goal of becoming a pilot for overseas humanitarian missions.
He said the Scott Aero Club, which partners with Southwestern Illinois College, was the best deal for him, so he and his family moved from California to Edwardsville, Ill. so he could become a full-time student. 

"There were plenty of schools in Arizona and Florida, but this was the most moderately priced and had the best cost of living," said Mr. Tucker. "I also liked that Illinois has more weather to offer than Arizona or Florida." 

He arrived last October with a private pilot license, and earned his instrument rating in November and his commercial pilot's license in March and is now working on becoming a certified flight instructor. 

"SWIC has a ground school and simulator training," said Mr. Tucker. "Then I study and fly through the Aero Club." He also joined the Civil Air Patrol so he could become a member of the Aero Club. 

To ensure people like Mr. Tucker are well taken care of through the various training and servicing programs offered, the Aero Club performs an inspection each year within the 375th Force Support Squadron, and every two years through Air Mobility Command. The AFA inspection occurs every 18 months. In 2004, the club was rated four stars in their first inspection.