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The Charter and Bylaws for the Vagabond Flying Association

The Vagabond Charter

Purpose: To provide an opportunity to the member owners to fly at the lowest possible cost.

Organization: The members own equal shares in the VFA's assets, consisting of two aircraft. The VFA is registered with the state of Illinois as a non-profit organization.

Management: The VFA's affairs are handled by its officers who, through meetings and other contact with the membership, attempt to follow the members' wishes with respect to rates, equipment, and other matters vital to the conduct of the association. Most of the burden of administering the VFA's affairs falls on the five officers. For these services, these members are not assessed the monthly charge for fixed costs. The treasurer also receives a small monthly payment.

Finances: The Vagabond Flying Association has no debts.

Membership: Our bylaws limit us to 35 members including students, private, commercial pilots, and flight instructors. Some of our instructors are not members.

Base: DuPage Airport (KDPA)

Aircraft: Cessna-172 1980, (N6163F) IFR equipped, dual nav-coms, Mode C transponder, ADF, glide slope, Garmin Aero 500, marker beacon lights and auto-pilot. Piper Warrior: PA-28-161, 1977 (N38968) IFR equipped, Garmin 430W, KX170B nav-com, Mode C transponder, ADF, marker beacon.

Scheduling: via online/phone scheduler.

Insurance: We carry liability for the amount of $1,000,000 maximum, $100,000 per passenger seat. The club is self-insured for hull damage. The deductible for hull insurance is $1,000.

Maintenance: Work is performed by selected repair shops. A crew chief is assigned to each aircraft and maintenance is coordinated by the vice president of equipment and maintenance.

Instruction: Flight instruction is available. Instructors are VFA members, or non-member instructors approved by the president.

Investment: When available, shares may be purchased from VFA for $1,800. All prospective members must be approved by a VFA officer. All share transactions are handled by the VFA treasurer.

Costs: Monthly dues of $80.00 (payable in advance) are assessed to cover the fixed expenses. Hourly "wet" (wet=includes full) rates (Hobbs time) are:

  • Cessna 172: $90.00
  • Warrior: $90.00

Operating Rules

Vagabond Flying Association (VFA), remains one of the most successful and economical groups of its kind. This performance is the result of over thirty years of experience.

Our operation is not designed for business flying or vacation trips. We are dedicated to low-cost flight training, aviation education and recreational flying. The continued success of our organization depends upon the cooperation of all members in safe, sensible flying practices and consideration of other members in the scheduling, use, and care of the aircraft. To this end it is necessary that all members observe the rules listed below:

Note: The words "must" ,"must not", "no", "forbidden", "shall", "shall not", and "is responsible for" in a rule indicate that compliance is mandatory and failure to comply may result in the member being asked to leave Vagabond. The words "discouraged",or "encouraged" in a rule indicate the preference of the club, but not mandatory compliance.

1. FAA Compliance. All operation of VFA aircraft shall be in strict compliance with Federal Aviation Administrations regulations.

2. Scheduling. Scheduling of aircraft is done online. Be precise in scheduling airplanes, cancel if your plans or the weather changes. Never use an aircraft without scheduling the time.  In the event that and aircraft is still on the ramp two hours after a scheduled reserved departure time, any member has the option of scheduling the balance of the reserved time.

3. Use For Hire or Profit. Use of VFA aircraft for profit or hire is forbidden.

4. Smoking. Smoking in VFA aircraft is NOT allowed.

5. Ground Time. Avoid using the aircraft on weekends or holidays for short flights with much ground time. (We wish to avoid a system of charging for ground time.)

6. Authorized Instructors. Only VFA member instructors or instructors approved by the president may instruct in VFA aircraft. Only VFA members or VFA instructors may fly VFA aircraft.

7. Pinch Hitter Training. Pinch hitter training for spouse, son, or daughter of a regular member by a designated VFA instructor is permitted - not to exceed 10 hours at prevailing hourly rates. The pinch hitter course used must meet FAA standards. Approval by an officer is required before beginning instruction.

8. Aircraft Familiarization. Before flying any of the VFA aircraft, the pilot must have received a check-out in that type of aircraft. All pilot and aircraft check-outs must be performed by VFA instructors.

9. Aircraft Manuals. Become familiar with the aircraft owner's and engine manuals and use a check list.

10. Care of Property. Be careful not to lose or cause to be lost, VFA property, such as microphones, headphones, and instrument flying hoods. The aircraft and engine logbooks are important documents tracing the equipment's maintenance history. Be careful to return them to their proper places.

11. Weather Minimums. No flying in marginal weather without a current instrument rating.

12. Night Flying. Night flying is discouraged.

13. Over Water Flights. No flights over open water such as Lake Michigan. Open water means outside the best power-off glide range of the aircraft.

14. Hand-Propping. Aircraft shall not be hand-propped unless an appropriately rated pilot is at the controls.

15. Housekeeping. After using any aircraft, refuel for the next member (Cessna is topped off and Warrior to the TABS ONLY), secure seat belts, clean up candy wrappers, soda cans, pencils, etc. Return on time and take refueling time into account when you schedule your flight.

16. Scheduling Etiquette. On all flights, members are responsible for returning the aircraft to DuPage County Airport within the time scheduled. In the event of an emergency or inclement weather it is your responsibility to edit your schedule and to inform those who have the plane scheduled after you.

17. Oil. Log all oil additions and do not overfill. Add only the proper weight and type of oil. Before adding oil, check the log book to see if special oil is in use - such as after and engine overhaul.

18. Securing the Aircraft. Properly secure aircraft: Tie down securely, set chocks, place control locks, lock doors, turn off master switch and ensure all windows are closed.

19. Run-Down Battery. Do not leave aircraft with a run-down battery. In cold weather, a run-down battery will freeze and be permanently damaged.

20. De-Icing. Do not remove ice from any portion of the plane by scraping. De-icing is available from Dupage Flight Center. VFA will not pay for de-icing, pre-heating, or jump starts. Such charges are the responsibility of the member.

21. Pre-heating. Below 32 degrees F ambient temperature, all aircraft must be pre-heated prior to starting.

22. Engine Care. Engine overhauls generally range between $16,000 and $20,000. Other maintenance is proportionally high. Please respect our aircraft and engines and treat them as your own. They are!

23. Maintenance. Maintenance, except in emergency, is to be performed only under the direction of the designated maintenance officers. Report any minor maintenance needs on the operating log and if prompt attention is required, notify the appropriate maintenance officer. Any repair charges paid by you must be substantiated with receipts in order to obtain credit.

24. Mechanical Failure. In case of an off-field mechanical failure that renders the plane unsafe for flight, the member shall contact one of the club officers for authorization of plane repair. The member is responsible for his/her own lodging or alternative travel. The VFA will pay for the return of the plane and the associated cost of a ferry plane. No maintenance, except minor emergency repair shall be accomplished until approved by a club officer.

25. Prop Damage. Avoid gravel damage to the propellers. Do not run up engine over gravel, water, snow, or other loose material. 26. Gang Box. Keep the tool-oil box locked.

27. Operating Logbook. When you fill out the operating log, you have agreed to the accuracy of the preceding Hobbs reading unless you note an exception.

28. Insurance. VFA aircraft are self-insured against hull damage, with the deductible set at $1,000. The pilot in command is responsible for the deductible portion of the claim for any in-motion accident.

29. Assessments. Assessments may be made equally against each member for aircraft damages, major repairs, or equipment upgrading if sufficient funds are not available within the VFA treasury.

30. Fuel Charges. Charge fuel to VFA only at DuPage County Airport Flight Center (122.95). All off-field fuel purchases by members must be substantiated with proper receipts to be credited. Landing fees and tie-down charges at airports away from DuPage are the pilot's responsibility and are not reimbursed by VFA.

31. Selling Your Share. VFA will not buy your share if you must sell, but will try to find a buyer for you for a fee of $50. All share transactions must be handled through the VFA treasurer. Prospective members must meet with and be approved by a VFA officer. Members are responsible for dues until their share is sold. The club offers two methods of paying for a membership share:

A. Full payment of $1,800 (plus $80.00 for the first month's dues) at the time of joining.

B. In multiple payments (plus $80.00 for the first month's dues) at the time of joining plus $80.00 per month until a total of $1,800 is received by the treasurer.

If a share is sold under method B, the selling member does not receive payment from VFA until the total sum is received by the treasurer. Also, the member selling the share has the right to refuse selling his/her share by method B. A member may sell a share to a VFA approved person at any price is he/she wishes to sell direct.

32. On-Time Payment, Delinquent Members, Loss of share or Treasury Share

  a) On-Time Payment.  Make sure your monthly payment is in the hands of the VFA treasurer no later than the first of the following month. A 10% late charge per month will be added on the unpaid balance. A member may receive a one month dispensation from the late charge simply by notifying the treasurer.

Credit Cards Visa/MasterCard will now be accepted as payment for current and new members.  A 3% fee will be added to the amount charged. This fee is what the credit card company charges for use.

  b)  Delinquent Members.  If a member carries a balance of more that $500 at anytime, the member will be considered a Delinquent Member.  Delinquent Member's flying privileges will be terminated until full payment is made.  The Delinquent Member has a maximum of 90 days to pay in full or work out a payment plan with our Treasurer.

                        Delinquent Members Unathorized use of Airplanes

  (1) Once a member becomes "Delinquent", their flying privileges will be forfeited.  The Delinquent Member will not be able to schedule an airplane or access the scheduling system.

  (2) If at anytime the Delinquent Member chosses to ignore (1) and takes/flies one of VFA's aircraft, the unauthorized use will be considered a theft and the authorities will be contacted immediately.

  c) Treasury Shares (loss of share)  If after 90 days, the Delinquent Member's balance is not paid or a payment plan has not been worked out, the Delinquent Member's share becomes VFA property.  These shares will be called "Treasury Shares".

"Treasury Shares" will be sold by the VFA as soon as possible.  "Treasury Shares" will be VFA's top priority to sell.  The monies tht VFA receives from the sale of these shares are assets of VFA and will not be reimbursed to the original owner.

As of January 16, 2003, members with a balance of more that $1600 (current value of 1 Vagabond Share) will forfeit their share.  These shares will become VFA "Treasury Shares" with VFA being the sole owner and the proceeds from the sale will become VFA assets.

As of January 16, 2003, members with a balance of more that $1600 will also be turned over to a collection agency and any proceeds collected as a result of this transaction will become VFA assets.

33. Out of Service Procedure. Out of Service Procedure: Each pilot is responsible for calling an airplane out of service if there is anything to cause it to be less than full safe for the next person to fly.

A. Use the board that says "Out of Service". It is kept in the box and is to be placed on the pilot's seat in the aircraft.

B. Note any problem on the squawk sheet.

C. Take the aircraft “Out of Service” via the scheduling system. Notify others who have the plane scheduled that it is out of service.

D. Notify the maintenance chief for that airplane or the maintenance officer so repair can be quickly initiated.

E. The maintenance chief or maintenance officer will verify that repairs have been completed before the plane is put back into service.

34. Monthly Flight Time. During the course of a calendar month, no member shall accumulate more than $500 in billable time UNLESS the billable flying time in excess of $500 has been pre-paid or UNLESS the member has informed and received the permission of an officer.

35. Pilot Records. The Vice President of Membership shall collect copies of all BFR's, medical certificates, pilot certificates and club currency endorsements. It is each pilot's responsibility to forward these documents in a timely fashion to the Vice President. Vagabond Flying Association takes no responsibility for reminding pilots of required due dates for medicals, BFR's, or currency check rides.

36. Rules for Student Pilots:

  • S-1. No student solo night flying
  • S-2. No student solo cross-country flight until the Private Pilot's Written Test has been passed.
  • S-3. All student solo cross-country flights shall be under the supervision of a VFA instructor.
  • S-4. A students BFR date will serve as the medical date
S-5. Any student pilot who has not flown for 30 days must be checked out by a VFA flight instructor.

 

The Vagabond Bylaws

Article I: Purpose

1. The purpose of this Club shall be to provide its members convenient means for private flying at the most economical rates and as otherwise described in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

Article II: Meetings of Members

1. At any regular meeting of the members, a quorum shall consist of the members present who are in good standing.

2. Major financial considerations such as major repairs, upgrading or plane trades must be brought before a regular meeting prior to implementation. Notice of such topics must be given in writing prior to the meeting. Votes for such matters will be accepted by mail. Failure to attend or mail a vote indicates abstention. A simple majority of those voting will decide all issues.

3. The President, or in his/her absence, the Vice President, or in the absence of the President and Vice President, a Chairman elected by the members present shall call the meeting of the members to order and shall act as the presiding officer thereof.

4. Officers are elected for a two year term.  At the regular November meeting prior to an election, the members shall elect the officers for the coming term. The officers so elected shall take office in January following the election.

5. At every meeting of the members and officers, each member shall have only one vote.

6. A simple majority vote of the members voting is necessary for the adoption of any resolution and for the election of officers.

Article III: Directors and Officers

1. The powers, business and property of the Club shall be exercised, conducted and controlled by the officers.

2. The officers shall consist of the president, two Vice Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

3. Each officer shall be elected for a two year term.  This takes place at a regular club meeting.

4. In case of a vacancy in office, the remaining officers may fill temporarily such vacancy from the Club membership.

5. The officers shall have the power and authority to promulgate and enforce all rules and regulations pertaining to the use and operation of Club property and every act which the Club may lawfully do and perform to the extent of the Articles of Incorporation.

6. The officers shall cause to be kept a complete record of all acts and proceedings of meeting and to present a full statement at the regular meetings of the members, showing in detail, the condition of the affairs of the Club.

7. Each officer shall be a member of the Safety Committee.

8. The officers shall comprise the Board of Directors.

Article IV: President

1. The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Club. He/she shall preside at all meeting of the Club and the Board of Directors. He/she may call any special meeting of the officers and shall have, subject to the advice of the membership, general charge of the business of the Club, contracts and instruments (other than checks) which have been first approved by the members.

2. The President shall be responsible to the membership for the operation of the Club. He/she shall enforce decision of the regular meeting regarding the suitability of all equipment and the qualifications of all members for every type of flight operation. He/she shall recommend for approval to the membership, all operational rules of the Club and shall report with recommendations, all violations of such rules by any member of the Club.

Article V: Vice President of Membership

1. The Vice President of Membership shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform the duties of the President in case of his absence or disability.

2. The Vice President of Membership shall be the Safety Officer.

3. The Vice President of Membership shall also perform duties connected with the operation of the Club as he/she may undertake at the suggestion of the President.

Article VI: Vice President of Equipment and Maintenance.

1. He/she shall be responsible for maintaining current information in the logbooks of the aircraft.

2. In case both the President and Vice President of Membership are absent or disabled, he/she shall perform the duties of the President.

3. He/she shall be responsible for maintaining the aircraft in proper operation condition, by or under the supervision of a properly certificated aircraft and engine mechanic, and for obtaining all checks, inspections, major overhauls and compliance with all service bulletins for the aircraft.

4. He/she shall be responsible for all papers required to be carried in the aircraft and for the execution of all papers required upon the completion of inspections and major repairs.

5. He/she shall appoint a Crew Chief for each aircraft.

Article VII: Secretary

1. The Secretary shall keep minutes of all proceedings of the meetings of the members and of the officers in books provided for that purpose. He/she shall keep a proper membership book showing the names of each member of the Club, the book of Bylaws and such other books and papers as necessary. He/she shall execute with the President, in the name of the Club, all contracts and instruments which have been first approved by the officers.

2. The Secretary shall also perform such duties connected with the Club as he/she may undertake at the suggestion of the President.

Article VIII: Treasurer

1. The Treasurer shall execute in the name of the Club all checks for the expenditures authorized by the officers. He/she shall receive and deposit all funds of the Club in the bank selected by the officers, which funds shall be paid out only by check as herein before provided. He/she shall also account for all receipts, disbursements and balance on hand. All checks shall be signed by the Treasurer. In his/her absence, the President will be authorized to sign checks.

2. The Treasurer shall obtain flight logs from all aircraft monthly, calculate hourly flight charges, prepare and deliver the monthly billings to the membership.

3. The Treasurer shall process transfers of membership and maintain complete records of each exchange of ownership of a share. In cases where a share is sold on the installment plan, the Treasurer shall maintain and separate accounting and make full payment to the selling member after he/she has received the full payment from the purchasing member.

4. The Treasurer shall also perform such duties connected with the operation of the Club as he/she may undertake at the suggestion of the President.

5. The Treasurer shall keep the President informed of any member financially delinquent and therefore not in good standing.

6. The Treasurer shall present the books of the Club to an Audit Committee appointed by the President annually.

Article IX: Safety Committee

1. The President of Membership shall be the Chairman of the Safety Committee and shall have the power to appoint members to this Committee as he/she sees fit.

2. Each officer shall be a member of the Safety Committee.

3. The officers shall be responsible for all members in all Club equipment per Club regulations.

4. The officers will set up specific operational procedures for each of the Club aircraft.

Article X: Membership

1. The total membership of the Club shall be thirty five members.

2. New members will be admitted to the Club only after being approved by an officer of the Club.

3. A person shall be deemed a member after purchase of an equal share. Each member shall be assessed monthly dues in an amount established by vote of the membership. Dues are payable in advance for as long as the member is in the Club.

4. A member is responsible for all his/her Club obligations until his/her share is sold to a person acceptable under Article X, #1.

5. When a member sells his/her share on the installment plan, the person purchasing the share immediately assumes all rights and privileges thereof.

6. All bills sent to members are payable by the first of the following month. Members not paid in full are subject to a 10% late charge on the unpaid balance. A member may receive a one month dispensation of the above simply by notifying the Treasurer.

7. If the Club sells a member's share or buys a member's share, a charge of $50 will be levied.

8. A member may be expelled for cause by a two-thirds vote of the members at any regular or special meeting of the members. Upon being duly expelled, the expelled member immediately loses all rights to the use of the Club property from the day of expulsion. The expelled member is given thirty days in which he/she may sell the share for its cash value (not to exceed the par value) less a charge of $50.00.

Article XI: Surplus

1. The saving or surplus remaining after all operating costs and other expenses have been paid, shall remain in the Club's treasury for the purchase of new equipment, for emergencies or for the purpose of reducing the hourly rates for flying as shall be determined at a regular membership meeting. The net saving in any event, shall not be distributed to the members for their individual use.

Article XII: Pilot-In-Command Liability

1. For any damage caused to any Vagabond aircraft where pilot-error is the cause, the Pilot-In-Command at the time of the incident shall pay to the club a sum equal to the current insurance deductible amount, whether or not the damage is claimed as an insurance loss.

Article XIII: Amendments

1. These Bylaws may be repealed, amended or new Bylaws adopted at any meeting of the members by a two-thirds majority vote of such members.

Article XIV: Rules and Regulations

1. Rules and Regulations shall be published and distributed to all new members during the induction process. Changes in the rules must be presented at a regular meeting prior to distribution.

Originally Approved 11-01-1984

Amended 11-22-1986

Amended 1-18-1990

Amended 3-19-1999

Amended 3-20-2003

Amended 3-20-2008

Amended 9-11-2008

Amended 7-15-2013