Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
A lot of shares change hands because of who you know. You're not just making a financial arrangement with others but a personal one - you'll need to work together to keep your aircraft in the air. A personality clash could be curtains for a group. We recently had to kick someone out of one of my groups due to the actions of that individual, which were essentially a personality clash (him vs everyone else) which was making the group impossible to manage.

For reference, details of the groups I'm in below, aircraft both hangered (at Prestwick so no use to you!) on permits and we do all our own maintenance .
Groups are larger - most of the group members fly only a couple of times a month, with each member taking an aircraft away over a weekend about once a year at most, so this works out to an OK utilisation. They wouldn't suit someone who wanted to fly very regularly or multiple long distance trips away. Not many groups like these in the UK.

Share Value is estimate (as it depends what someone will pay) but we keep track of an indicative value:
Jodel 1050; 16 people; Share = £2750; Monthly = £50; Hourly (Wet) = £60 (airborne + 5min)
SA Bulldog: 20 people; Share = £4500 ; Monthly = £55; Hourly (Wet) = £105 (airborne +5min + extra if aeros)

Neither group has had a cash call in the last few years. The Jodel group has just about enough for the new engine which is now needed. Bulldog group is likely to need to increase finances to cover a Spar mod in the next few years, costing similar to a new engine (or it will be grounded).

The monthly costs don't change much for smaller groups - so individuals in smaller groups will each have higher monthly / fixed costs. Also higher costs if you don't or can't do your own maintenance, if you have heated hanger etc.
T6Harvard liked this
HedgeSparrow wrote:As far as I can see, nobody's mentioned this X'Air (go on @flyingearly , have a look, it might surprise). It has the looks you're willing to accept and there are quite a few already on the register. I may be wrong, but I believe it can even be built with folding wings which could cut hangarage costs down significantly.

I've looked at this and WOULD consider it (it's the Falcon I wouldn't, as per my OP), but I spoke with the distributor and the costs were coming out £26.8k for the kit and shipping vs £20k for the Skyranger Nynja. If a share came up in one though, I'd be happy to consider it (and I've recently spoken with the distrbutor and looking to fly down for a visit and ride with them).

But from a build perspective, it's less preferable than a Nynja/Swift.

I should say that I'm not looking to build, but there is a part of me that thinks - if a share is so hard to find - then exploring a relatively 'simple' build option would be a sensible option while I rent in the meantime. I know this gets asked/said a lot, but I genuinely do have a separate interest in 'building' vs my interest in 'flying', although would err towards a 300 - 400 hour build project that I can complete in a year, vs something more complex: I've ruled out ever being in a position to build an RV7, for example (even though, financially, it allows me to break the costs down in installments in a way that would work for my long-term budget).
These are different times, but I still “think outside the box”.

In 1974, fresh PPL in hand I ended up at Blackbushe, and flew a Piper Cub... Nice.
Then through a booking error on my part I had to wander down to the end of the field to fly something else, something a whole lot more fun, a Michael aeroplane, the Rollason Condor... I’ve got to have one of those I thought.

Rent, rent, rent, join the Tiger Club at Redhill... Lots of Condor time, and other lesser aeroplanes like Tiger Moths.

In 1982 I bought a Condor, and I rented it out. Far too busy, I bought another one... Oh no, you want aerobatics?
I got a T67A....

If you have a dream, and you dream it enough, you can have the aeroplane(s) you want. But the dream must be underlined with effort.

Unfortunately, my efforts died with the costs rising in a dispassionate Redhill Aerodrome... A heart breaking 1986, and a deadly 1987.

I might just have to buy back that first Condor. She’ll need a recover... And I haven’t got any money... Not so rash in my old age, but who knows...

Rather than waste time on here, put your dream down on paper, put a picture of your aeroplane on the wall, and think outside the box, and go for it.
Most people I know think inside the box, they have boundaries in their lives. You have to think for yourself and go for what you want. “Where there’s a will....”.

Be careful listening to others, others who give you reasons for not doing something. These people can put you through a 1987...
T6Harvard liked this
£50 per hour and under is achievable, easily, but doesn't include the cost of an aeroplane. A group formed around at one at £10000-15000 would be my choice; Champ, Jodel, Rans territory, amongst others, if you can find one*. Fuel at 12-18 ltres per hour, hangarage £100-350 p.m., say, insurance from £500 upwards and upwards, peripherals and contingencies £ little to infinite all make rather elastic totals.

LAA aeroplanes are vital for many of us without bottomless pockets, however addicted we are, but we can fly more hours for fewer ££ than others in the same hangar.

Getting to know people is the best advice: many sales are never advertised and I second Kanga's view that joining a Strut would be a good idea and you'll get to talk to people with all sorts of aircraft. The Kent Strut has members at Rochester, which is handy for you and many of the meetings are there too. Online currently, but things are changing :)

It seems there's not much about currently, but the world is still waking up. If you can bide your time, enjoy any and every minute flown meanwhile, it should get better. Talk to anyone with an aeroplane when at an airfield; it's surprising how things can pan out. That person may know of someone with an underused aeroplane...or is considering going from sole owner to group...or maybe even knows another in your position.

Good luck!

* Citing bottom end of market as you indicated you're mechanically inclined.
A4 Pacific, Rich V, kanga and 1 others liked this
Miscellaneous wrote:Whilst not a microlight I know of an Aeronca 7AC Champion for sale.

The right Aeronca Champ could be a wonderful aircraft to own. You could definitely be flying that for £50-£60/hr.

There is also a stunning Gardan Mincab on afors. Absolutely no connection to me!
Last edited by A4 Pacific on Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rich V liked this
Grelly wrote:It's worth going to the airfields within travelling distance and checking the notice boards. My impression is that shares are often not advertised beyond the airfield.

I agree that there's no alternative to going to an airfield and talking to lots of people. I've been part of the same group for 15 years. In that time, with initially ten shares, growing to eleven a few years ago, and with about one change each year, we have never had to advertise beyond the one clubhouse we use at Redhill plus word of mouth referrals.
Thanks all for your sage advice, wisdom and input.

Thanks to this thread I've been introduced to a potential share at Redhill that would tick the boxes, although I'm behind someone else in the line and so exploring all other avenues too. I've just joined the LAA and will put some flyers up on the noticeboards at local airfields also.

I do have one other person very interested in joining forces, so if there is a third person out there that you know it would give us the clout we needed to make a move on the Hawk, or others as they come up.