2160 West Case Rd
Columbus Ohio, 43235
New Flyers Association Location
New Flyers Association started in 1968 as "National Flyers Association", a small group of pilots who were interested in affordable flying. Throughout the 70's, NFA saw a very fast growth period, swelling in numbers and aircraft. NFA participated in numerous youth programs, bringing the dream of aviation to so many children.
In 1977, club member Paul Ryan encountered an embedded thunderstorm while flying in instrument conditions over the Gulf of Mexico. He then set out to invent an instrument that would detect thunderstorms. He came up with the StormScope, a lightning detector which determines lighting bearing and range. NFA had the first ever StormScope installed in the fleet's flagship, a Cessna 210, N59136. The project proved a huge success, with many aircraft owners installing the StormScope systems in their aircraft across the country, and saving countless lives!
In 1982, A brief but severe recession hit. This recession rippled throughout the aviation industry so hard, it was nicknamed the "GA Crash of '82". Even Cessna Aircraft stopped producing single engine airplanes for 15 years. NFA saw a decline in membership and aircraft all the way up to 1989, when NFA sold their last plane and was ready to turn in the keys.
Richard E Willis, once a member of NFA up until the 1982, heard about NFA's predicament. He had his own airplane, a Piper Tomahawk, that he would lease to the club, and took the reins in 1989. He brought new ideas and visions to our club, and rode the economic boom of the 90's, bring NFA back to a strong organization.
In the 90's, NFA surged to 22 aircraft (many of which choosing to end their tail number with "NF" for national flyers!) in the fleet and several hundred members.
At the turn of the millennium, the economic boom of the 90's was fading, and with the events of September 11th, 2001, fear of aviation surged to an all time high. Membership declined rapidly as the economy took a downturn, and with the terrorist attacks launching aviation into the limelight and painting a grim picture, nobody wanted to fly. But, NFA persevered.
Around 2005, National Flyers Association underwent reorganization, changing the name to "New Flyers Association". NFA still struggled for several years afterwards however. Aircraft were leaving the fleet because costs were skyrocketing, and interest in aviation waned heavily. When the collapse of the housing market happened in 2008, the economic ripples once again shredded the aviation industry, and NFA took a huge hit to it's fleet and membership roster. Yet, NFA still persevered.
In 2010, New Flyers Association acquired N566FD, a small light sport aircraft (N566FD, a Flight Design CTLS) that was still very new to the market. It's simplicity to fly and lower pilot requirements appealed to a new group of people, and highlighted that NFA needed a new approach to aviation.
In late 2011, Richard Willis began looking for new blood to help in operations. In December 2011, R. Willis enlisted the help of CoreyLee Hassell, a student whom had recently gained his pilot certification and demonstrated high ambitions. Over the next year, the combined leadership of the experienced R. Willis, and the youth and energy of C. Hassell, NFA began a complete 180 and began to grow again. In 2012, Richard Willis passed the torch, marking a new chapter in NFA history.
In 2013, NFA added N178CT, another Flight Design CTLS, showing that the idea of very light weight aircraft is popular. The idea that "It's just plain fun to fly!" really hits home to people who just want to play with airplanes.
These days, aviation had become distant from people. Whereas once aviation was part of the community, having a cultural impact, it now was locked behind fences, gates, and security guards. NFA desires to reconnect aviation with the community again, through the use of outreach programs aimed at schools and universities. Pilots and instructors will be participating in events, bringing real aircraft for demonstrations, and showing people that aviation is more than just flying! It's adventure!