Olds Forge Flyers, Inc. began upon issuance of a charter by the State of Michigan on January 25, 1945. The charter was the effort of 10 employees of the Oldsmobile Forge Plant who shared a common interest in flying. The club has flown out of Lansing Capital City Airport for the past 60 years.
The club’s first aircraft was an Aeronca L-3B which was purchased in spring of 1945 as army surplus. Only later did the members discover the Aeronca to be unairworthy until one of the wings was rebuilt. In 1947, the club bought a 1946 Ercoupe. The 1950’s saw membership growth in the club to membership around 40 members. By the 1960’s, both the Aeronca L-3B and the 1946 Ercoupe were traded for a Piper Tri-Pacer and a Piper Colt. By the end of the 1960’s, membership grew to around 50 members with aircraft costs escalating at what seemed to be a rapid rate with aviation fuel doubling in cost and liability and damage insurance tripling. Plane rates jumped from $3.50 to $18.00 per hour .
In 1975, the club had 62 member and with a Piper Arrow and two 172’s. Various optional forms of memberships were created to encourage trial memberships or reduced rates for family of existing members.
In 1983, the Arrow was sold and replaced by an Archer. In 1986, the Club bought a Skyhawk 52267 which remains in the club aircraft fleet today. At that time, the club also owned a Cherokee 6 which was stolen from the hangar and crashed in Georgia. The repair job was poorly done and the plane fell into disuse. The Cherokee 6 was replaced with a Saratoga that had been flown in both Alaska and California. The Saratoga remained a cherished member of the club fleet until it was sold in 2005 due to the cost of maintaining it. The cost of insuring the Saratoga exceeded the combined cost for the Archer and the 172.
The Archer that was purchased in 1983 suffered a fire after landing in Traverse City on the first flight after a major overhaul. It was discovered that a float pin had been left out of the carburetor causing the engine to flood. The club replaced the Archer with another Piper Archer, N6917D . It was love at first sight and the new Archer has been our most utilized plane over the years.
The club has relocated from the “T” hangars to the a excellent facility at AvFlight (formerly known as AeroGenesis). AvFlight treats Olds Forge like family and it’s been a great fit for both AvFlight and the club. The club celebrated both its 55th (2000) and 60th (2005) anniversaries with dinner meetings in the airport terminal, and its 65th (2010) at the University Club.