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Syndicate members - is it worth it?

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Syndicate members - is it worth it?

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Old 12th Jan 2019, 04:17
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kdn
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: new zealand
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Syndicate members - is it worth it?

Any able to share their real life experiences with being in a syndicate?

I have been thinking about it for a while, some of them seem to be a bit odd to me though, 5k to join a 25 member pool, then $120 per hour plus fuel!

And who pays for maintenance? Once the 100 hours is up, or once the engine needs to be replaced, whose pocket does it come from do the members all have to go in equally?

Seems so much easier (read: cheaper!) to join an aeroclub and hire as needed.

Also is this share worth anything as an investment, or will the aircraft eventually die one day and be worthless?
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 19:11
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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In most syndicates planned maintenance (usually but not always including engine overhaul/replacement) is covered by the initial buy-in plus usually a monthly fee, usually in the order of $50-$100 per member per month although that obviously depends on the aircraft and the numbers in the syndicate. There is always the risk of unforeseen maintenance costs which in most syndicates is going to be covered by the members equally. The bigger the syndicate the cheaper the cost but in a large syndicate the aircraft is less likely to be available when you want it and you feel more like a club member than an actual owner. Overall joining a club is easier and cheaper - the main attraction to a syndicate is that you at least have a bit more flexibility with use of the aircraft, for example many clubs are understandably reluctant to allow an aircraft to be hired for say a week to go away somewhere where the actual flying it does in between is minimal, and secondly syndicates are useful if your intention is to fly something a bit unusual; warbird, vintage, or just higher performance GA type that a club wouldn't typically have online.

Regarding an investment, I would approach it from the perspective that you most probably are not going to recover your initial buy-in. Depending on how long you intend to remain in the syndicate you might if you're lucky be able to sell your share at some point for what you paid for it, but that's probably about it. Again it depends on the aeroplane, something rare and expensive is less likely to become totally worthless over time compared to a 172 or Cherokee etc.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 01:15
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Originally Posted by kdn View Post
Any able to share their real life experiences with being in a syndicate?

I have been thinking about it for a while, some of them seem to be a bit odd to me though, 5k to join a 25 member pool, then $120 per hour plus fuel!
Folks,
As a general observation, syndicates seem to be FAR more successful in NZ than AU. I am not certain what that says about national characteristics, if anything.
While I am aware of several syndicates in AU that have been around for quite a while, in more cases than I can count, friends have "un-friended" each other and it is always about money --- and one or more "members" getting a perception that somebody else is getting more than their monies worth --- so they stop paying their fixed charges, and it is all downhill from there.
I think that, in AU, you are better off doing a deal with a private owner --- and make very certain the insurance includes you, with non-recourse clauses as required --- you will often see ads. in the Aviation Trader.
Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 13th Jan 2019 at 14:44. Reason: typo
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 03:00
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kdn
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thanks both, yes I think syndicate is probably not for me, to be honest I struggle getting up enough just to keep current.

I was a bit confused about who actually receives my $120 p/h since I technically own the plane myself. But agreed, I have seen some cool aircraft available that you just wouldn't get in an aeroclub (Don't think they would let a 120 hour PPL fly most of them anyway however!!)
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 19:47
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Originally Posted by LeadSled View Post
Folks,
As a general observation, syndicates seem to be FAR more successful in NZ than AU. I am not certain what that says about national characteristics, if anything.
While I am aware of several syndicates in AU that have been around for quite a while, in more cases than I can count, friends have "un-friended" each other and it is always about money --- and one or more "members" getting a perception that somebody else is getting more than their monies worth --- so they stop paying their fixed charges, and it is all downhill from there.
I think that, in AU, you are better off doing a deal with a private owner --- and make very certain the insurance includes you, with non-recourse clauses as required --- you will often see ads. in the Aviation Trader.
Tootle pip!!
Things are no different in NZ, probably more than 50% of syndicates turn sour. I agree with doing a deal with an owner, it's often a win-win. But just remember, look after the plane as if it's your own and clean it when you're finished. There's nothing more frustrating than helping out a friend/associate/acquaintance with a cheap hourly rate and have your plane returned filthy
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 11:39
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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This is a subject that pops up every now & then. simply put it favors some & not others in any syndicate. Inevitably someone loses & someone gains, the secret is how much are you prepared to stay on the gaining side? Syndicates are not for everyone. I was in one many years ago, worked for me as out of the 7 of us (C150) I was the only one to go right thru to ATPL, the rest drifted off, my gain their loss I guess. .Personally I'd never do it again but I don't have to these days, I open the hangar & there sits b4 me my own plane exactly how I left it, for that I/ we pay a high price:-)
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 12:30
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Proof that yet again an ATPL was easier to get in the old days. I wish I could have done mine on a C150.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 20:12
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Runaway Gun View Post
Proof that yet again an ATPL was easier to get in the old days. I wish I could have done mine on a C150.

hahaha I was wondering if someone would take it that way - our C150 was well equiped similar to the current Airliner of the day...lolol
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 23:06
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All depends on how the syndicate is run. Good ones are run like a business,with Directors running it, and a set of rules all shareholders must abide by. You actually buy a share in the company not the aircraft. Then no one can legally claim the aircraft or hide it away etc as you hear of happening in small syndicates that start out as a few mates pooling their resources,buy an aircraft then, find owning one is a lot of work both financially and admin wise. Usually one of the group can't keep paying and/ or telling the others how it should be run etc. Mayhem soon sets in with the end result the aircraft deteriorates then gets sold at a loss.
I know of 3 good syndicates around the country that have been going for years. One I know of in Adelaide has been going for over 40years. Their current aircraft is a Archer 2 which I believe members fly for $150/hr wet and pay $75/month fixed. That is about half what it will cost you at any flying school at Parafield. There are others at Moorabbin an Bankstown which I believe are still going strong.
Problem with Aero Clubs is they always seem to be broke. Usually rely on the in house Instructor to run them, who often has no management skills in financial or legal matters,and ofcourse needs to be paid. Lost count of the amount of clubs that have folded over the years because members come and go but rarely get involved in the business side of things.
Syndicates if well set up and run tend to avoid these pitfalls. The only downside is you have to buy into it which usually costs a few thousand $'s and you need to sell your share if you wish to leave,or lose your investment.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 06:29
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by machtuk View Post



hahaha I was wondering if someone would take it that way - our C150 was well equiped similar to the current Airliner of the day...lolol
Were you the one that inspired the old joke about a young man meeting an attractive lady in an airport terminal, pointing to the big 4 engine plane out the window and saying, "see that, that's a C-130, well I fly a C-150".
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Old 16th Jan 2019, 02:54
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I think the difficult part in the syndicate is finding trustworthy partners, i am thinking about forming a syndication on the gold coast with a sling 2 aircraft but dont know any other pilots, that to me is a big challenge
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Old 17th Jan 2019, 06:04
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I think the difficult part in the syndicate is finding trustworthy partners
spot on!!! Plus a good contract agreement that is precise about terms and conditions.

I was in once in a syndicate with a poorly worded contract in regards maintenance and it was hell!
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