Sun Lakes Aero Club seeking new members



View F-104 at Williams-Gateway.jpg in slide show


              A visit to Gateway Airport



Are you a pilot or former pilot? Are you interested in any aspect of aviation?


If so, Sun Lakes has an organization you may want to consider joining.  Established in 16 years ago, the Sun Lakes Aero Club was created  to foster interest in aviation and to promote increased knowledge of aviation-related fields.


Membership is open to Sun Lakes residents and others having widely varying interests, including current and former pilots,  ultralites, hot air balloons, sailplanes, homebuilt and factory-built aircraft, radio controlled models, and even paper airplanes. 


Today members include current and previous general aviation pilots, retired military and airline pilots, and others who share in interest in flying.  Some have tens of thousands of hours of logged pilot time, some have none, but all are welcome.  Local pilots who own airplanes are especially invited to join.


The club has programs the third Monday of each month from October through April in the Sun Lakes Country Club Mirror Room featuring speakers on some unique aspect of aviation.  Many speakers are veterans including several Sun Lakes residents who have related their combat flying experiences during World War II and the Korean,  VietNam and Desrt Storm conflicts.  Others have given presentations on topics ranging from skydiving  to their experiences as Pearl Harbor survivors and flying sailplanes to the history of abandoned airbases in Arizona.


The next program, set for January 21, will feature a presentation  by an flight controller from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Radar Approach Control facility.  All programs are open to the public.


          Unlike many other flying-related clubs, SLAC does not own aircraft.  However, more than a dozen members own planes, or rent planes or have access to aircraft through membership in conventional flying clubs.


Among the most popular club activities are fly-ins and field trips to aviation-related sites and attractions in the area.  Members owning planes volunteer for fly-ins, with expenses being shared by other members who ride as passengers.  Previous fly-in sites include the Museum of Flight at Palm Springs, Titan Missle site at Tucson, March Field Museum and Edwards AFB in California, and trips to Fort Huachuca Museum and Military Intelligence Museum and Sierra Vista to tour Karchner Caverns.


          Also popular are fly-ins for breakfast at nearby airports including Sedona, Marana, Ryan Field, and Payson.


          Club members have taken field trips to the Mars Space Facility at ASU,  the Phoenix Terminal Radar Control facility at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and the Kitt Peak Observatory. A trip to watch F-16 and A-10 fighter aircraft from Luke AFB and Davis-Monthan  AFB in action at the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range south of Gila Bend is planned for February.


          Interested persons are invited to visit the club’s web site  (  Those wishing to join can click the “How to Join” tab and download the Application for Membership form.  Bring the completed form to the next SLAC meeting or mail to Bob Walch,  club president at 11111 E. Elmhurst Dr., Sun Lakes, AZ  95248.


          Additional information is available from Walch at 480-895-8869 or Gary Vacin, club vice-president, at 480-298-7017.