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Is Ownership in UK Worth It?

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Is Ownership in UK Worth It?

Old 6th Jan 2021, 09:28
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: United Kingdom
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Is Ownership in UK Worth It?

I am a US citizen now living in Eastern England. I earned a CP certificate and an instrument rating in the US a few years ago and I am interested in getting back into some GA flying in the UK. I was once a part owner in a Cirrus, it is a great IFR airplane, and I am considering ownership of one here. However, I have been told that an instrument rating is very difficult to obtain for GA flying here and I suspect that the number of VFR days in this country make airplane ownership more expensive than rentals. Thoughts?
cpilot1 is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 10:28
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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Easy. Just buy and operate an N registered aircraft.
Manker is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 12:36
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: UK,Twighlight Zone
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Originally Posted by cpilot1 View Post
I am a US citizen now living in Eastern England. I earned a CP certificate and an instrument rating in the US a few years ago and I am interested in getting back into some GA flying in the UK. I was once a part owner in a Cirrus, it is a great IFR airplane, and I am considering ownership of one here. However, I have been told that an instrument rating is very difficult to obtain for GA flying here and I suspect that the number of VFR days in this country make airplane ownership more expensive than rentals. Thoughts?

If you have a valid FAA certificate and logbook evidence of 50hrs under IFR then you can do a direct entry CBM IR skill test with no written exams (its an FAA style oral) for the Instrument rating which I would not consider to be difficult to achieve. To get a PPL it will be 2 exams the Air Law and HPL papers which are under 30 questions total and a skill test again not hard for an experienced pilot. Please feel free to drop me a PM as I can do it all for you including the flight tests and am local.
S-Works is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 14:26
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Join Date: May 2000
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I think aircraft ownership is always likely to be more expensive than rentals unless you don’t suffer from work/family time commitments. That’s not the point though is it? Ownership gives power and flexibility to go where you want when you want. There are many N reg Cirruses (and similar types) with shares available in the U.K. presumably exactly because an FAA IR is a sensible option for many people - if so, it’s a shame that UK CAA regulations makes this desirable.
Dan Dare is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 14:50
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Originally Posted by S-Works View Post
If you have a valid FAA certificate and logbook evidence of 50hrs under IFR then you can do a direct entry CBM IR skill test with no written exams (its an FAA style oral) for the Instrument rating which I would not consider to be difficult to achieve. To get a PPL it will be 2 exams the Air Law and HPL papers which are under 30 questions total and a skill test again not hard for an experienced pilot. Please feel free to drop me a PM as I can do it all for you including the flight tests and am local.
50hrs Pilot in Command under IFR, plus a 46 fee and some paperwork to the CAA to get a validation of your FAA IR to them, so that they'll then accept the UK IR test pass.

Once you have your UK IR, do be aware that it has to be revalidated annually by test, not on recency in the way that the FAA permit.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 14:54
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
50hrs Pilot in Command under IFR, plus a 46 fee and some paperwork to the CAA to get a validation of your FAA IR to them, so that they'll then accept the UK IR test pass.

Once you have your UK IR, do be aware that it has to be revalidated annually by test, not on recency in the way that the FAA permit.

G

LOL, yeah I told YOU that before I tested you...
S-Works is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 14:55
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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My slight corrections aside, my advice if you are in the UK for a few years at least is to look towards buying a share, rather than a whole aeroplane. Fixed costs of aircraft ownership are higher in the UK than they are in the USA, and particularly in British weather you'll struggle to hit 3-figure hours per year, so a share is much lower exposure, and lower risk when you need to dispose of your share (indeed shares in well run syndicates at popular airfields are usually very easy to sell).

Cirrus' are available, as well as all of the common types you'll have been used to in the USA, and perhaps a few interesting aircraft that'll be new to you such as Jodels and Bulldogs.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 14:57
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Originally Posted by S-Works View Post
LOL, yeah I told YOU that before I tested you...
Just a shame that some of the other detail the CAA told you one thing, and me another - but we got there (and for the OP, Steve's an enjoyable instructor and examiner to fly with, he would be worth contacting.)

One issue, incidentally that S-works and I had, when I converted my FAA to a UK / EASA IR last year was that CAA had previously required an FAA IPC within the previous 12 months, irrespective of your FAA recency. Between me shelling out for an IPC and doing my IRT with Steve, CAA amended the examiners handbook removing that requirement so only a current FAA IR was needed. In theory therefore I wasted a lot of money, however (apart from the fact that it was usual practice anyhow) they clearly had never told the licencing staff at Gatwick that, as they required evidence of my most recent FAA IPC as part of the application.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 15:39
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
Just a shame that some of the other detail the CAA told you one thing, and me another - but we got there (and for the OP, Steve's an enjoyable instructor and examiner to fly with, he would be worth contacting.)

One issue, incidentally that S-works and I had, when I converted my FAA to a UK / EASA IR last year was that CAA had previously required an FAA IPC within the previous 12 months, irrespective of your FAA recency. Between me shelling out for an IPC and doing my IRT with Steve, CAA amended the examiners handbook removing that requirement so only a current FAA IR was needed. In theory therefore I wasted a lot of money, however (apart from the fact that it was usual practice anyhow) they clearly had never told the licencing staff at Gatwick that, as they required evidence of my most recent FAA IPC as part of the application.

G
We are still getting different answer if we talk to two different people. The CAA has becomes a shambles. The next shambles is going to be over turning all the national licences they issued for people who had SOLId and requiring them to apply again for UK.FCL licence based on the SOLI licence. We couldn't make this stuff up!!!
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Old 7th Jan 2021, 18:27
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1. The CAA could NOT issue UK Part-FCL licences to those who had SOLIx'd whilst the Uk was still an EASA Member State, because it was illegal to hold more than one EASA licence for a specific aircraft category.
2. The CAA has an adverse task-to-resource ratio thanks to previous senior people making huge staff cuts.
3. The twin problems of COVID-19 and lunacy of EU exit have meant a work load which requires an order of priority.
4. The CAA has to engage with DfT who, despite the utterances of boy wonder, are not as 'on side' as the Authority is for many issues.
5. By April a system for issuing UK Part-FCL licences to EU Part-FCL licence holders will be in place - it is intended that this will be as straightforward as it can possibly be for those who held UK issued EASA licences hitherto.
BEagle is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 18:33
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
1. The CAA could NOT issue UK Part-FCL licences to those who had SOLIx'd whilst the Uk was still an EASA Member State, because it was illegal to hold more than one EASA licence for a specific aircraft category.
2. The CAA has an adverse task-to-resource ratio thanks to previous senior people making huge staff cuts.
3. The twin problems of COVID-19 and lunacy of EU exit have meant a work load which requires an order of priority.
4. The CAA has to engage with DfT who, despite the utterances of boy wonder, are not as 'on side' as the Authority is for many issues.
5. By April a system for issuing UK Part-FCL licences to EU Part-FCL licence holders will be in place - it is intended that this will be as straightforward as it can possibly be for those who held UK issued EASA licences hitherto.
I was using the Part FCL term to refer to the newly ripped off UK.FCL rather than a UK EASA Part.FCL licence. They only had to state at the stroke of a pen that all those UK ICAO licences were now UK.FCL licences and the jo would be done.

I also doubt very much the returning process will be straightforward. The can of gold plate will need to come out for everything. Oooh sorry sir you may have been an EASA examiner but unless one of our Staff Examiners does a new AOC and you are an accepted member of the inner circle and know all the passwords you can't join. Even if you were a UK examiner previously as you are now a traitor to the cause.......
S-Works is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 18:34
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Indeed, hopefully my newly SOLI'd IAA CPL will have an IR on it when it turns up sometime soon (although to be fair you can't even blame the CAA for present severe restrictions on getting post in and out of the UK!), but I've absolutely no idea what's happening about putting the IR on my UK CPL. For good or bad, I've decided to wait until have seen the IAA licence and what ratings are on it before I start giving them a hard time over that, just in case I need to give them multiple hard times.

By any standards however, more than 2 months from passing my IRT, to actually having a licence in my hand with the rating on it, is extremely unimpressive.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 20:19
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,546
Ownership will be much more expensive than renting. BUT I found renting impossible - if the weather was good. And forecasts seldom accurate enough to book in advance for more than one hour. I bought a share 31 years ago. I'm still owning today.
The really good thing about Syndicates is that many (most?) members don't fly enough to make it economical for them, leaving plenty of hours for a few to fly. As long as each hour flown is making a profit, we're doing them a favour by flying the aircraft.
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2021, 22:11
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
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Re: syndicates. I'm a serial and parallel syndicate member, having recently joined (a restoration project) my 11th syndicate in 30 years, every size from 2 to 20, single, 2 and 4-seaters, most times 3 syndicates at a time, probably staying in each about an average of 7 years. In the UK, it's absolutely the best way to get aircraft availability, access to better aeroplanes than you can rent, and affordable flying. You just need to get the detail right, and steer clear of the occasional syndicates that have a few problem children in them.

G
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