Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:18 pm
10 syndicates into my flying career, having been a new pilot with a share, then an experienced pilot with a share, and more recently a CRI in a couple of syndicates and freelancing to help some other syndicates with their checkouts...
- An experienced syndicate PPL who knows the aeroplane well is an excellent person to do checkouts.
- If nobody's an instructor, only one person logs it. Make sure that person is defensible to the insurance policy, and doesn't look odd to the AAIB.
- A "passenger handling the controls" is perfectly legal, just always when permitting it have in the back of your mind the phrase "at the subsequent inquiry".
- A syndicate should have agreed amongst themselves the standards and content they want in a checkout. Minimum standards of flying, minimum level of knowledge (the booking system, the little tricks to keep the seats clean, how you all want the aircraft secured at night...) and have this ideally written down.
- If you use a syndicate member who isn't an instructor, have a clear understanding of the point at which they pull the plug and get a "proper" instructor in. If you use an external instructor, make sure that they know what level of knowledge and minimum standards the syndicate expect. Don't be afraid to split the checkout role between an independent instructor and a syndicate member (it's not necessary for example for a hired in instructor to know all the stuff about keeping the aeroplane clean and book the aeroplane).
- Never let the person selling the share fly the checkout. However well regarded they are, it's not fair on them if anything goes wrong later.
- There's a huge amount to be said for not letting somebody buy their share until a "grown up" has decided that their flying skills are of a standard acceptable to the syndicate. I've several times seen a real mess created when somebody bought their share and turned out to have some combination of flying ability and attitude that really weren't acceptable to the group.
- It doesn't matter if the new shareholder has 10,000hrs instructing on type. They still need at the very least one of the syndicate members to fly with them, and brief them on the syndicate's rules and practices. It might not take long, but is still needed.
- Above all else, apply common sense !
I am Spartacus, and so is my co-pilot.