Warbird Pilot Wannabes Wanted
Prowler Command is a different kind of flying club that's using a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber and a C-47 Gooney Bird to woo dues-paying members, and the group says it's hoping to add more warbirds to the mix. Membership includes a type rating with "second in command privileges" in either aircraft. The "second in command" satisfies insurance requirements. Qualified members may rent the aircraft at deeply discounted rates and fly it with an insurance-company-mandated safety pilot. Members can expect to pay about $25,000 for one rating, which, according to Prowler, is tens of thousands less than pilots might pay elsewhere. On top of that come annual dues of $10,000, but those are tax deductible because Pacific Prowler Organization operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Prowler also offers corporate sponsorships that help support the aircraft while bringing attention (and perks) to the supporting businesses and has plans to add at least three more aircraft to the fleet.
Prowler intends to add a T-28, an L-39 and an A-26 to its rentable collection, all of which will be available to trained member-pilots at discounted rates. The two current aircraft can be made available to support corporate promotions, meetings or employee incentives, through Prowler's corporate sponsorship programs. Corporations can participate at prices ranging from $100 to $200 per month, which includes airplane rides.