Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Shares vs Hire

Old 29th Dec 2014, 00:02
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Shares vs Hire

Hi Guys,

First post for me!

I am coming to the end of my PPL course, having completed my QXC and hoping to sit the test weather permitting and a few other variables in my favor.

Slightly presumptuously I have been considering what to do once I have completed the license - and of course part of the continuation of flying and to a degree hours/experience building as someone who has just passed.

I am wondering if there are any positives and negatives in terms of looking at a Share vs Hiring one from the airfield. I of course understand the principle that if you buy a share it is availability based - but I have my own company, so to a degree flying weekdays has it's advantages etc...

Take for example a theoretical situation of a 2,000 'buy in', 80/month cost and 75/hr flight on a PA28 - I am wondering the following in general terms;

1) Does the 75/hr generally include items such as fuel, oil and other consumables - or are these at extra cost?

2) In general terms after you've paid your 80/month (obviously airfield costs considered) is there generally a surplus afterwards in case the engine blows up or the wing falls of? Or would 80 x say 5-10 shares be roughly the cost of parking a PA28 for a month at an airfield (in general terms etc)?

3) Does 80/month x however many shares (say 5-10) generally cover all expenses including insurance, annuals etc - or is that at additional cost to the 80/month?

4) Is the 2,000 essentially a purchase, if you sell your share do you get it 'back'? Also, if you sell your share 3 years later would it technically be lower due to the value of the plane?

5) Do groups/shareholders 'like' newly qualified PPL holders, or will it tend to put up insurances, be a risk groups prefer not to take and so forth?

Sorry to ask such probably seeming obvious questions - or if it has been asked elsewhere, I'm just trying to get my head around the 'next step'!

Cheers
Neil
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 00:35
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I will leave others to answer each question but one thing I'd suggest is to keep hiring for awhile so you really get a good feel for the kind of flying you do, would like to do and also whether for example, a warrior will suit your needs
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 06:45
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It varies from group to group. I rented for 2 years before buying a Jodel DR 1050 share for 1600 25 years ago. Now worth 2200, 9000 in kitty, 50 per month, 60 per tach hour. Good availability in a group of 6. Hangared. We do our own maintenance and use mogas. Landings are extra.
Add: 78 hours in 2014 for 4908 total, including monthly charges, but excluding landing charges.

Last edited by Maoraigh1; 29th Dec 2014 at 21:27.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 09:04
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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You also have to be aware that it could be a quite different experience to that which you have.

Arrive at airfield, open hangar and get your 'share' out.
Do all paperwork required, lock hangar and go fly.
May be no radio at airfield, so sort out runway/QNH etc
Return to airfield. Open hangar. Refuel aircraft. Clean aircraft. Put it away.
Paperwork and lock hangar/clubhouse.

A group may also have a 'washing rota', club meetings etc.

It takes a bit longer than renting - turn up and fly - but much more flexible if you get the right group.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 10:04
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Neil, you are just at the beginning and it is totally ok to ask all these questions. But, there is no general answer to it. Shades of reality may cover all you imagine in all variants and it will depend upon whom you step into.

Roughly as a guide to your questions from my experience:
1) PA28 at 75 GBP feels like dry, so plus fuel.
2) I doubt you fit the unexpected into 80 GBP per month.
3) The way I encountered this would cover hangar etc, but not annual.
4) This really depends on the contract, it may or may not.
5) As a low timer you definitely will have an insurance issue.

One drawback, which keeps my away from shares, is the sync of expectations of different people. If you hire, you look at the plane and like it or not. If you have a share, you have to balance the one owner keen on the latests avionics with the other being a rock solid bushpilot denying all technical progress - at worst. As a low-timer you will have a lot of changes going on in your mind for quite some flying hours to come. So, my advice would be to take some time with only hired planes, hang around the bushes of your most favorite airfield, get to know people, get a feeling for our little fellow pilot-owner bastards, decide with whom you may want more contact and learn learn learn learn learn, not only piloting, but to estimate our emotional borderline-like community as well.

And a little additional advice, talk to people and drop you may want to get your own plane. By this I had this surprise to come along somebody wanting to get off his plane to a guy he likes and that was me. All of a sudden I had my own, very affordable, plane (but don't ask what the misses said ... did not tell her in advance).
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 11:01
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I've looked into this myself quite closely. I average around 60 hours a year or five hours a month. There was a share in one of the aircraft at my club going for around 4K ish subject to haggling. To break even over renting I would have to do 3 hours a month or more. The availabilty was/is excellent, aircraft has a very healthy engine fund and it's a full IFR fit go places type machine. You would think it's a no brainer but...I like to fly different aircraft.

Now when I was a golf nut I used to play all over the place. I finally bit the bullet and joined a local, quite expensive club. I never played anywhere else after that because I had paid my money and was damn well going to use that club. I have a feeling that having a share is the same, I would fly that aircraft to the exclusion of everything else. I currently have access to seven different aircraft types, not counting the sub types within those. I enjoy getting in something different so in the end I decided not to make a bid for the share. It costs me around 50 a month not to be in the syndicate and fly the hours that I do. I reckon it's worth paying that.

However, you have to make your own mind up. Some people just like having a share in an aircraft and hardly ever fly it. They are the people who you need in your syndicate!
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 11:10
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Join Date: Nov 2000
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but don't ask what the misses said
I thought that the norm was that they responded by going out and buying a horse?

So don't buy a plane unless you can cope with a horse as well.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 11:36
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I was very lucky, she went and got a new dog.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 12:21
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I have been a group member for 9 years and the main benefit has been the flexibility it gives me. I can usually fly when I want to and go wherever I want for as long as I like. If I have to wait for the early morning mist to clear, I am not usually worried about being back for the next renter's slot.

I agree that, to financially justify buying the average share, you have to do do more than about 3 hours a month. Fortunately, my misses does not like horses but she does enjoy going on cruises. As you cannot financially justify the cost of a cruise, usually a 15 day one costs enough to buy a share in an aeroplane, I have never felt the need to justify any extra cost of my type of flying, some of which she actually enjoys too.

For several years before buying a share, I used to rent a group owned aircraft and this tended to give me the best of both worlds, paying a higher hourly rate than the members but giving me similar privileges. This would be the ideal arrangement for new pilots if the insurance does not become an obstacle.

The other issue for those flying on a limited budget is that of maintaining currency. Many renters seem to have quite restrictive currency rules which mean that you have to fly little and often. Most people eventually get bored with this and tend to give up. Of course, sharing flights is an excellent way of expanding one's horizons with longer flights but then you are in danger of tripping over the 90 rule for carrying passengers. I used to have problems with this when I rented the group owned aircraft. I did enjoy some great longer flights but, during the Winter especially, did run out of the 90 day currency. I distinctly remember spending over an hour de-icing the aircraft just to spend about 15 minutes doing three circuits.

So I tend to agree with those who suggest waiting awhile before deciding on what sort of flying you really want to do and whether you can afford it, whichever route you decide to take.
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Old 29th Dec 2014, 12:48
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Neil, are you still with us?

Can you give us a bit more insight in your intentions to fly? I mean, do you plan to use the plane just for fun, or will you use it for business trips as well, what does the misses want?
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 02:23
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Hi Guys,

Sorry for the delay, it seems I didn't get the email when you replied!

At the moment, since my instructor is part-time at the airfield I 'fly' two days a week - which at this time of year becomes one a month due to weather etc! My plan would be really to try and fly in an ideal world once a week. But when work, weather etc comes into it I think once a month would be more realistic.

I think it would be nice to mix it up a bit with the flying - mainly it would be do to some fun things like day trips away or maybe brave a cross-channel etc. I also have a relative in Glasgow which may be a fun trip.....though quite long in a PA28?!

I do a fair amount of meetings in places such as Essex, Kent etc which are a pain to drive to - so certainly would consider the possibility of flying......if the technicalities of doing that allow me not to need to extent my PPL to a CPL?

Perhaps I am looking at it the wrong way - but to me, if I had a share I could in theory pop over the channel on a Friday evening and come back on a Sunday afternoon despite as little as 4hrs flying? Where as I can imagine an Airfield will want to be seeing revenue, and not have the plane parked up on a Saturday while I'm sat in the swimming pool? Likewise with business meetings - if it takes all day to have a meeting but it's 1hr each way, the Airfield won't be too happy about their plane gone for the day and only getting 2hrs of flight time?

One attraction to me of sharing flights (either hiring or buying shares) is to see how someone more experiences flies in control and be able to watch how they deal with the unexpected etc!

Is the consensus generally that it it's better to take club aircraft once you've just passed and look at shares or when you have enough hours not to raise eyebrows at the insurers? What kind of hours does one need to have under their belt to keep the insurance reasonable?

Thanks!
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 08:01
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Hi Guys,

Sorry for the delay, it seems I didn't get the email when you replied!

At the moment, since my instructor is part-time at the airfield I 'fly' two days a week - which at this time of year becomes one a month due to weather etc! My plan would be really to try and fly in an ideal world once a week. But when work, weather etc comes into it I think once a month would be more realistic.
Once a week is a decent plan and to reach such a goal you have to set up the right arrangement for plane.

I think it would be nice to mix it up a bit with the flying - mainly it would be do to some fun things like day trips away or maybe brave a cross-channel etc. I also have a relative in Glasgow which may be a fun trip.....though quite long in a PA28?!
Reading (?), say Brimpton to Glasgow would be something like a 3 hours flight in a PA28/C172, so a bit more then the typical coffee flying distance, but still a reasonable flight for frequent travel.

I do a fair amount of meetings in places such as Essex, Kent etc which are a pain to drive to - so certainly would consider the possibility of flying......if the technicalities of doing that allow me not to need to extent my PPL to a CPL?
You have to think of the trade ins and outs. Flying is often more relaxed then driving, but with preparation, weather and local shuttle you won't save time - my experience. But where comes CPL in play? All this you do with PPL.

Perhaps I am looking at it the wrong way - but to me, if I had a share I could in theory pop over the channel on a Friday evening and come back on a Sunday afternoon despite as little as 4hrs flying?
Depends on the contract conditions.

Where as I can imagine an Airfield will want to be seeing revenue, and not have the plane parked up on a Saturday while I'm sat in the swimming pool? Likewise with business meetings - if it takes all day to have a meeting but it's 1hr each way, the Airfield won't be too happy about their plane gone for the day and only getting 2hrs of flight time?
Typically you have a price structure as - x GBP per month fee plus y GBP per hours flying plus z GBP per days off field. The share organizations I know of handle it flexible - so ask everybody wether the plane is needed at home for the next say 4 days yes/no and if nobody plans to do a trip, go.

One attraction to me of sharing flights (either hiring or buying shares) is to see how someone more experiences flies in control and be able to watch how they deal with the unexpected etc!
This feeling will fade away ;-). You do this once in a while, but usually flying skills are very personal.

Is the consensus generally that it it's better to take club aircraft once you've just passed and look at shares or when you have enough hours not to raise eyebrows at the insurers? What kind of hours does one need to have under their belt to keep the insurance reasonable?
This depends on the insurance contract and coverage. When I came to my own plane by surprise I just took a basic liability and they did not want to see any hours. With extended coverage the requirements for hours rise.

Thanks!
You're welcome! I guess most of us have been where you are now. What will help finding your way is talk talk talk to the people around you and travel to Fly-In's quite soon to get more in touch with the world of private flying ;-). Things like Duxford Flying Legends or similar for three days will get you a lot of pilot contacts.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 17:42
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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if it flies ***** or floats then always cheaper to rent
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:31
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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But the stuff you're flying, floating or f*cking has been used by so many before you... it might be cheaper, but monogamy in my 3 f's is worth it I like to build a relationship with it
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:40
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That's why i share two birds
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:57
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Speak to the groups you are looking at - I would actually say the hourly rate does include fuel, but they will tell you what is included and how much of the monthly fee goes in standing fees and how much goes into funds. I would also say look at other aircraft, something like an RV will give you a much more capable aircraft if you do not need 4 seats - most people do not!
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 18:59
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Thanks Foxmouth

What's an RV?
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 19:03
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if it flies ***** or floats then always cheaper to rent
... Than own? That's not my experience. Perhaps a cute little quip, but not really meaningful with respect to aircraft use.

Utilization has everything to do with that value in ownership with most things, including aircraft. If you're only ever going to use it a few times a year, then yes, it's probably more cost effective to rent it.

However, a person committed to learning to fly, earning a PPL, and thereafter building meaningful experience cannot do better than to buy a share or all of a suitable aircraft. I bought my C 150 28 years ago, in the midst of people asking me to be partner on a C 182, or C 310. I could not afford "the big iron" (and it turns out neither could they!). I still own the 150, and after looking at my use (average about 120 hours for each of those years), and it's value, it's nearly been paying me to fly it, other than the cost of fuel and insurance.

If you're committed to getting to the 500 hour experience mark, you can't loose owning some or all of the plane you fly to get there. If you're not really sure, then yes, rent, until you're sure.

If you're renting, someone somewhere is making a profit from you, and you're paying the top price for that product, because they are building in all kinds of allowances for wear and tear which you can mitigate if you own it.

If you own your own aircraft, you know who flies it, and what condition it's in. I have 28 years of knowing exactly what has been done with my 150 during every hour of its flight. No surprises, low operating cost.

Don't make your decisions based upon quips on the internet, base them on good research.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:07
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What's an RV?
https://www.vansaircraft.com

Homebuilt - and there are many homebuilts that will be better equipped and outperform Pipers and Cessnas. Personally I would go for an RV 7 or 8, these are Tailwheel but have nosewheel versions, will comfortably take 2 pax and luggage and cruise at 140-150kts, handle way better than typical spamcans and are aerobatic into the bargain. If you want a four seater they even do those, but finding a group operating one is harder as they are more recent.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:00
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Originally Posted by NeilUK View Post
Hi Guys,

First post for me!
Welcome to PPRuNe.

I am coming to the end of my PPL course, having completed my QXC and hoping to sit the test weather permitting and a few other variables in my favor.
About June then!

Slightly presumptuously I have been considering what to do once I have completed the license - and of course part of the continuation of flying and to a degree hours/experience building as someone who has just passed.

I am wondering if there are any positives and negatives in terms of looking at a Share vs Hiring one from the airfield. I of course understand the principle that if you buy a share it is availability based - but I have my own company, so to a degree flying weekdays has it's advantages etc...
You can do the maths on any syndicate versus your local hiring, but fairly regularly the breakeven seems to work out around 30 hours per year. That's pure finances of-course.

Pros: You can get to really know the aeroplane, you can take it away for several days at a time, you have a real say in how the aeroplane is looked after, you save money.

Cons: If the aeroplane's sick you can't fly it, and are likely to have to contribute in time or money to solving the problems, expect to have to put other effort into things like cleaning, managing finances, etc. Basically you pay for your cheap flying with effort and risk.

Take for example a theoretical situation of a 2,000 'buy in', 80/month cost and 75/hr flight on a PA28 - I am wondering the following in general terms;

1) Does the 75/hr generally include items such as fuel, oil and other consumables - or are these at extra cost?
The majority of syndicates are priced "wet", so that includes consumables. Most syndicates, if you buy fuel away from home base just knock what you spent off the bill, so there's no real net gain or loss. That said, I've been in two syndicate priced dry - just make sure you understand the local rules, and you're happy about them.

2) In general terms after you've paid your 80/month (obviously airfield costs considered) is there generally a surplus afterwards in case the engine blows up or the wing falls of? Or would 80 x say 5-10 shares be roughly the cost of parking a PA28 for a month at an airfield (in general terms etc)?
Big question! Look at the finances of any syndicate to see what they're doing. Some run on a healthy surplus, some run to the wire and accept the need for occasional cash-calls. Either can be fine, so long as everybody's accepting of the state of play.

3) Does 80/month x however many shares (say 5-10) generally cover all expenses including insurance, annuals etc - or is that at additional cost to the 80/month?
Every syndicate I've ever been in, that is set to cover all of the AIRCRAFT fixed costs, but it's likely that you'll have to pay your own club membership.

4) Is the 2,000 essentially a purchase, if you sell your share do you get it 'back'? Also, if you sell your share 3 years later would it technically be lower due to the value of the plane?
A 2k share implies a lower value aeroplane - aeroplanes like that can go either up or down in value, depending upon how things are going, the aeroplane is being looked after, the cash reserves (which are effectively part of the aeroplane in this context) go up or down. When you do sell your share, the free market applies. If all you can get is 1, that's that. If it's become a really popular syndicate and you can get 3k, well done.

5) Do groups/shareholders 'like' newly qualified PPL holders, or will it tend to put up insurances, be a risk groups prefer not to take and so forth?
This varies a lot. I'm in three syndicates at the moment. One is three experienced pilots sharing an aeroplane we know well, and we'd not be at-all happy with any member selling their share to an inexperienced pilot. Another is a large syndicate on a training-suitable aeroplane, and we have a couple of instructors on the syndicate - so we've had people buy a share to finish their PPL off on it, then carry on. The other is somewhere in between.

Sorry to ask such probably seeming obvious questions - or if it has been asked elsewhere, I'm just trying to get my head around the 'next step'!

Cheers
Neil
Perfectly reasonable questions. and you're sensible to be asking them. The other point I'd make about joining a syndicate (and I've been in 8 so far - most of which worked really well most of the time.) is that the single most important factor is neither the aeroplane nor the financial situation - it's the people you're in the syndicate with. If they're the right people to share an aeroplane with, who pull their weight and support each other - most other problems can be resolved smoothly. If they're not, then eventually it'll all go wrong.

G
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