Creative ways to own aircraft

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Creative ways to own aircraft

Postby mhaleem » Sun May 12, 2013 6:08 pm

Does anyone know of any creative ways to purchase a SLSA? I owned a real estate company for four years, and there were multiple ways of owning real estate without having to go the conventional route. Has anyone read about the Tecnam program for leasing their LSA's for a five year period? They are quoting $499 per month plus $15/hr reserve.
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Re: Creative ways to own aircraft

Postby drseti » Sun May 12, 2013 6:48 pm

I'm not sure how realistic Tecnam's numbers are, Mo, but I wish them well. I don't expect that $500 monthly lease figure to include hangar and insurance, so you'd best budget for double (or maybe triple) that amount. That may be a bit much for an individual to plan for, so I see this as a good vehicle for partnerships.

Considering Tecnam's numbers, let's say you're flying 200 hours a year. That means $15k engine reserve, and $30k lease costs, over that five years. Figure a $120k LSA; after five years, with a mid-time engine, it should sell for, let's say, $80k. That only leaves $5k profit for Tecnam. If they have $100k tied up in that aircraft, their ROI is something like 1%. Doesn't seem sustainable to me.
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Re: Creative ways to own aircraft

Postby newamiga » Tue May 14, 2013 12:40 am

You may also want to look at Aviation Access. They are working with Bristell to bring partners together in ownership of new Bristell's. If you haven't seen the Bristell it is worth a look. I spent quite a while sitting in one at Sun N Fun last year and really liked it. Here is a link to AA and how they are working with Bristell.

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Co-ownerships can be creative

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue May 14, 2013 6:16 am


I urge you to look closely at owning a plane in partnership (the preferred legal term is co-ownership) and compare that to the other 'creative' methods you explore. AOPA has extensive coverage of the how's and how-to's of co-ownership on their website, they offer a very detailed spreadsheet that helps you ID the various costs and calculates ownership expense (so you can use this for each of the methods you are considering, including single ownership), and they offer a draft co-ownership agreement which you can customize to your own requirements. The agreement is especially helpful in identifying issues you might want to consider with any form of shared responsibility for an a/c - e.g. are landings on unimproved or non-paved runways permitted? what minimum length runway is acceptable? wind and/or weather minimums? what happens when someone's monthly payment isn't made? AOPA also took over and now operates a 'Finding a Partner' service on-line, much like a dating service. You apply filters for location, specific airports you'll consider basing the plane at, your budget, etc. and it then connects you with others of similar interests.

Many are turned off by the idea of co-ownership and, when I explore this, I almost always find its for one of two main reasons: They have no personal experience with co-ownership and so must operate on assumptions and 'I met a guy who told me...' and/or they wanted a turn-key solution without having to invest themselves in a process and be thoughtful about how to make one work. I'll bet that any 'creative' way to own and fly a plane is going to require unique levels of effort and imagination - after all, who wouldn't want to own a plane for less cost than the next guy?

I tried to set up a co-ownership for a simple Part 23 a/c in my area (it would have been my second co-ownership) but due to the slow economic recovery, interested parties were in short supply and I had to end up opting for single ownership. But during the process of partner shopping, I talked with a local A&P/IA about my past experience and answered some questions he had. That was about 18 months ago. I ran into Bob last week, it turned out he was able to keep his twin Commanche by turning it into a co-ownership of 3 partners, and he raved about what a great solution it was for his 'more plane than pocketbook' dilemma. He pointed out they had yet to experience their first scheduling conflict, too. I could have told him that, based on my experience, he could have 5 partners and experience little scheduling conflict. As much as we hate to admit it, all of us fly less than we thought we would...or would like to.

The key challenges IMO in forming a successful co-ownership are two: Having a large enough available pool of interested parties (something determined mostly by your location), and being thoughtful about the kinds of partners YOUR partnership should have in it, which then allows you to select the 'right' partners for you. The rest is just details.
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Re: Creative ways to own aircraft

Postby deltafox » Tue May 14, 2013 8:25 am

Reference: ... -club.html

Just happened to see this. I know co-ownership is different, but this does support Jack's warning about knowing the people before you share your airplane.

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Re: Creative ways to own aircraft

Postby jnmeade » Tue May 14, 2013 9:53 pm

The impression I get is you want one without paying full price or with some kind of financing deal.

If the hangup is money and you can't have the one you want, maybe you should want the one you can have. A standard certificated plane that can be used for instruction and meets LS parameters. Champ, Cub, Ercoupe, etc.

You can put a couple of thousand dollars into portable avionics and have a very nice panel.

So, all you give up is speed, a nose wheel, fiberglass and the ability to work on it yourself with a LSRM-A.

I can't think of any way to buy into a newish SLSA without paying the asking price.

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