National Association of High School
Aviation Clubs




Run An Aviation Club

OK.  You’ve organized your aviation club, held your first organizational meeting, applied for NAHSAC Club Membership for your club and your club has been selected by NAHSAC for membership status.  Now What?  The below information will help you to plan, set up and run your club’s meetings.

We suggest that you hold 2 meetings each month during the school year—hold the first meeting of the month in a classroom and make the second meeting of the month a field trip.  This pattern allows you to explore information related to a specific topic in an inter-active-meeting venue, and then get a more “hands-on” experience of the topic.

The keys to running interesting, informative and exciting meetings for your aviation club are:  leadership, preparation, content and execution.  NAHSAC suggests that you follow the below guidelines for your club meetings.


LEADERSHIP:  Before you approach the challenge of organizing your club meetings, you should select a member of the club to serve as the leader (president, chairperson, captain, chief honcho, etc.) of your club.  This role should be periodically rotated between the club’s members so that everyone can gain leadership experience—leadership is a crucial skill that everyone in aviation should possess.

Each month, the club’s leader should assign 2 club members to a crew (team) that will plan, organize and execute the meeting or meetings (1 if you are on a 1-meeting-per-month schedule; 2 if you are on a 2-meeting-per-month schedule) for the month after next.  This will allow the crew to have at least 60 days to prepare the meeting(s).

The club leader should then appoint one crewmember as “Captain” of the crew and the other crewmember as “First Officer”.  As the crew works through all the details of setting up and running the meetings, the Captain will gain leadership experience and the First Officer will gain “followership” experience (which is itself part of learning to be a leader).

The club leader should attempt to assign every club member to a Captain and First Officer role at least once each year.


PREPARATION:  Preparation for mission accomplishment is crucial in aviation.  Pilots methodically prepare for every flight, and they prepare for those hopefully rare emergencies.  Aviation Maintenance Technicians prepare for each and every maintenance task they perform by referring to maintenance manuals, preparing a work plan and making sure they’re up-to-date on the latest technical information related to the work at hand.  Air Traffic Controllers prepare for each shift by reviewing pertinent information and receiving a briefing from the controller they are relieving.  Every job in aviation requires preparation of one form or another.

If you want your club meetings to be interesting, informative and exciting, you must take the steps that are necessary to prepare for them.  Here’s an example of the “flightplan” that you should follow in preparing for every meeting:

    1. At least once a year, the club should plan a schedule of meetings for the year.  You can set up your annual club calendar on a “school-year” basis or run it for 12 months if you want to meet during the summer break.  Here’s the NAHSAC Suggested Meeting Program for the
      2012 – 2013 school year:

      September 2012:

      a. Classroom:  piloting careers

      b. Field trip:  visit a local flight school


      October 2012:

      a. Classroom:  Aircraft Maintenance Technician careers

      b. Field trip:  visit aviation-maintenance facility

    November 2012:

    a. Classroom:  Air Traffic Controller careers

    b. Field trip:  visit Air Traffic Control facility

    December 2012:

    a. Classroom: aviation-management/administration careers

    b. Field trip:  visit aviation facility—administration

    January 2013:

    a. Classroom:  aircraft design/engineering careers

    b. Field trip:  visit local EAA Chapter

    February 2013:

    a. Classroom:  aircraft manufacturing careers

    b. Field trip:  visit aircraft manufacturing facility

    March 2013:

    a. Classroom:  general-aviation operations support careers

    b. Field trip:  visit airport—general-aviation operations


    April 2013:

    a. Classroom:  airline operations support careers

    b. Field trip:  visit airport or airline office—airline operations

    May 2013:

    a. Classroom:  flight-attendant careers

    b. Field trip:  visit airline airport—inflight operations


The above annual plan is a suggestion only.  You will probably want to modify it to fit the interests and needs of all of your club’s members.  For example, if all of the members in your club are interested in becoming pilots, then more of your meetings should feature an emphasis on piloting.

However, please keep in mind that everyone in aviation should have a broad understanding of the roles of his/her teammates in the aviation industry.  Therefore, we suggest that you provide a wide variety of meeting content throughout the year.


2.   At least 60-days prior to the meeting date, the club leader should
      assign a Captain and First Officer to the meeting.  It is suggested
      that the Captain and First Officer should be assigned to both
      meetings in a given month.  This is so they can integrate the content
      of both meetings to focus on what the membership wants to get out
      of the meetings.

      However, it’s OK to assign a different crew (Captain and First
      Officer) to each of the 2 meetings.  In this case, the club leader
      should make sure that the 2 crews are coordinating their efforts.


3.   The crew should immediately start preparing for their assigned
      meeting(s) as soon as they receive their assignment.  The Captain
      should assume the leadership role on the crew and complete the
      NAHSAC Club Meeting Preparation Checklist with the First
      Officer.  The Captain and First Officer should divide the checklist
      items between them and then complete their assigned checklist


4.   All the items on the NAHSAC Club Meeting Preparation Checklist
      should be completed at least 30-days prior to the meeting date.
      There should be a clear plan for completing any items that are
      uncompleted at this point by at least 2-weeks before the meeting.


5.  Thirty-days before the meeting date, the Captain and First Officer
      should meet with the club’s leader to report the status of the items
      on the NAHSAC Club Meeting Preparation Checklist for the
      meeting.  The club leader should provide any assistance that may be
      necessary for the completion of all checklist items by at least
      2-weeks prior to the meeting.


6.   Two-weeks prior to the meeting, the Captain and First Officer should
      meet with the club’s leader to report the status of the items on the
      NAHSAC Club Meeting Preparation Checklist for the meeting. If
      there are any uncompleted items on the checklist at this point, the
      meeting should be cancelled unless a bullet-proof plan can be
      devised to complete all of the checklist items before the meeting.
      This policy is particularly important if the meeting is a field trip.


7.   One day before the meeting, the Captain should report to the club’s
      leader that everything is ready for the planned meeting.


CONTENT:  It is extremely important for your club to be dedicated to providing interesting and informative content for every meeting.  It’s great to hang out with other club members and talk about your aviation dreams, but the members of your club (and probably you) will quickly loose interest in coming to club meetings if those meetings are just an extension of your “hangar flying” sessions.  This also applies to your meetings that are field trips.

There is a treasure trove of content available to you for your use at club meetings.  You can link to the resources that are available in the MEETING RESOURCES section of the NAHSAC Website, you can do Google! searches, you can ask your club’s teacher/sponsor for assistance and you can check with your school’s learning-resources center and counselors to find content for your meetings.

The content for an “in-classroom” meeting could include:  downloaded videos, invited speakers, PowerPoint presentations, a club-member “show-and-tell”, etc.  The content you choose should be focused on the topic of the meeting and fit the available time for the meeting.

EXECUTION:    The content you have selected should be presented within the framework of a meeting-operations plan that allows time for questions and discussion.  The preparation of a meeting-operations plan is a NAHSAC Club Meeting Preparation Checklist   item. It should be completed early in the meeting-planning process.

Your meeting-operations plan should include:

    1. Who is running the meeting.
    2. Who the supporting crewmembers are.
    3. What everyone’s roles are.
    4. A timeline for meeting.

The members of your club who are serving as the crew for the meeting should strive for the best execution of the meeting-operations plan as they possibly can.  Well-organized and executed meetings are critical to the success of your club.