The Darmstadt Flying Club
In 1961, two master sergeants stationed at the military airfield Fliegerhorst Erlensee wanted to start a private flying club. After putting their money together, they held a collection from other aviation-minded personell and bought a Tiger Cub from England. After getting permission from the military, they founded the Rhein Main Flyers, eventually adding another Tiger Cub.
In 1969 a helicopter pilot warrant officer, fresh from Vietnam, flew his own Cessna 172 over from the States and founded the second flying club at Erlensee which was called Hanau Aero Club. This club quickly gained recognition and support from the military who gave them a hangar, parking and fuelling facilities. The membership consisted mainly of helicopter pilots who invested into the club. Very soon they had added another Cessna 172 and two Cessna 150’s.
In 1975 the Hanau Aero Club decided, with permission from the military, to invite non-military members to join. In 1976 we had 110 military members and 9 non military which were called associate members – the biggest and most successful military flying club in Germany.
At the end of 1983, a new airfield commander at Erlensee who couldn’t agree to civilian operations taking place from his airfield, did not renew our joint use agreement. We had to move all aircraft to Reichelsheim who made us very welcome. In January 1986 we were offered Babenhausen, Büdingen and Darmstadt as locations. As Darmstadt had just received a new runway surface and lighting, the choice was easy. We re-christened the Hanau Aero Club – the Darmstadt Flying Club (DFC). Following the closure of Darmstadt in August 1993, the DFC moved for a short time to Worms and since May 1996, is now based at Egelsbach.