Jet / Aircraft Share Factsheet
This factsheet is designed to inform and assist individuals who wish to set up a new car or motorbike sharing or fractional ownership scheme so that it operates legally, fairly and smoothly.
Owning an aircraft is a luxury that many people simply cannot afford. Aeroplanes and helicopters easily cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, and can be as much as millions. A group of friends, colleagues or other associates who want to buy an aircraft, or upgrade to a bigger, newer or better one might want to get together and share the costs between them to enable them to fulfil their ambition.
However, cost is not the only reason for sharing an aircraft. Some people may be tempted to buy an aircraft, but are concerned that it will not be used frequently enough to warrant the purchase and that it may be wasted sitting in a hangar or at an aerodrome or airport. By sharing the aircraft with others these concerns can be alleviated as a shared aircraft is more likely to be used frequently.
This factsheet describes an aircraft sharing arrangement which involves two or more people sharing the use of the aircraft and its costs, but not necessarily travelling together in the aircraft at the same time, unless of course they want to share their time in the aircraft together.
Types of Aircraft Sharing:
For gliders, small aeroplanes and other small aircraft it may be reasonably easy to hire an aircraft from a local flying club on a regular basis, but you will almost certainly need to be a member to do so, which will be an added expense, and use may be limited by time, availability and other factors. If the aircraft is likely to be used fairly regularly then joint ownership of an aircraft can work out cheaper than hiring an aircraft as and when required.
Larger planes and helicopters can be hired or chartered for journeys as and when required, but this is very expensive, and you will have no ownership of the aircraft and no knowledge about how other users have treated it. There will be strict limitations on where the aircraft can be taken and what they can be used for as well. Hiring an aircraft is also disadvantageous because it will not be possible to always hire the same aircraft, and this can cause difficulties in familiarising oneself with the controls and layout of each aircraft before taking off.
The next alternative is to purchase an aircraft outright, but as mentioned above, this is often prohibitively expensive and can appear to be a poor investment if little use will be made of the aircraft by the single owner.
There are companies in existence that offer shares in aircraft for sale, and then undertake all of the management of the aircraft on behalf of the owners, and often also provide a pilot for the aircraft if and when the owners require. These arrangements might be advantageous for people who do not have a licence to fly themselves, or are willing to pay the additional costs involved in paying someone else to manage the aircraft. However, this factsheet does not deal with such arrangements, and concentrates on sharing schemes run by the members themselves.
For people with the time and interest, there can be considerable savings to setting up a private sharing scheme between friends, neighbours or local business contacts to share ownership of an aircraft and share all of the costs associated with keeping it.