Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1838544
Dodo wrote:I'm really finding it difficult to imagine anything in the South East that can be flown for £50 hr wet, that is not loaded with enormous fixed monthly subscriptions or significant cash calls.

I did once have a share in Vagabond that was £22 ph wet and £35 per month, but that was in 1997.


Can you humour my naivety and clarify why, please? Is it specifically the hangarage that's making this an unrealistic goal? Or the cash calls?

Not asking to be a nuisance, but genuinely trying to reset my expectations and find a route forward here.

Looking at Afors, I can see a healthy supply of microlight shares/groups outside of the South-East for under £5k. In a group of 4+ people, I can't see how the SE hangarage costs (btw, recognising that hangarage is non-existent in this part of the world - I'm just talking about costs for a moment) would blow the budget:

https://afors.com/index.php?page=browse ... &cat=GROUP

I was expecting to pay £100 a month and £50ish an hour...but if that is genuinely ridiculous, I'd rather someone tells me.
#1838545
lobstaboy wrote:I'll just point out that Thrusters and Xairs are not pushers.


Yes, clumsy wording from me. But please, I don't want a Thruster or anything that looks like one, that's my point.

If what I am looking for is completely unrealistic, please let me know and I will have my trial lesson in a flex-wing and explore that instead, rather than wasting my time looking for something that seemingly doesn't exist in the South-East, but apparently does exist almost everywhere else in the country:

https://afors.com/aircraftView/50233 - just a fraction too far from me, over 1 hour's drive
https://afors.com/aircraftView/51089 - high engine time, but under budget

Plenty of appropriate groups and shares within budget elsewhere in the country, some at airfields with similar costs to Rochester/Headcorn etc:

https://afors.com/aircraftView/42073
https://afors.com/aircraftView/49609
https://afors.com/aircraftView/48613
https://afors.com/aircraftView/48281
https://afors.com/aircraftView/45939
https://afors.com/aircraftView/44945
https://afors.com/aircraftView/43340
#1838548
flyingearly wrote:I was expecting to pay £100 a month and £50ish an hour...but if that is genuinely ridiculous, I'd rather someone tells me.


Given your other requirements, that's genuinely ridiculous. And I think you'll find if you read this thread, and previous ones answering your questions, that you've been told that already (perhaps not bluntly enough), and been given suggestions for ways forward.

Example - you've just ruled something out because it's over an hour's drive away! Come on! How much do you want this? Are you just subconsciously making it too hard to do so you can give up and blame the cruel world?

(If I sound as if I'm being overly forthright here - it's because several months ago I spent time covering a lot of this ground with the OP'er by PM)
Last edited by lobstaboy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#1838550
There is another way, set your own group up. Put an advert on the notice boards of anywhere you would like to fly from, saying you are setting a group up and would anyone else like to join in. No need to specify a particular aircraft type other than a basic type. There are probably loads of people in the same situation as yourself and would jump at a chance to join. You would be wise to join the LAA, as their regime make flying a lot cheaper than the CAA version. The other members of the group will have their own choices of aircraft which may widen your horizon. My experience is with a Jodel 112 group which is about the cheapest flying you can get.
Good luck.
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#1838551
lobstaboy wrote:
flyingearly wrote:I was expecting to pay £100 a month and £50ish an hour...but if that is genuinely ridiculous, I'd rather someone tells me.


Given your other requirements, that's genuinely ridiculous. And I think you'll find if you read this thread, and previous ones answering your questions, that you've been told that already (perhaps not bluntly enough), and been given suggestions for ways forward.

(If I sound as if I'm being overly forthright here - it's because several months ago I spent time covering a lot of this ground with the OP'er by PM)


Ok, thank you.

On that basis, flying is a three-axis microlight is clearly not for me in the South-East and I will have a hard look at my options, including trying out flex-wing as seemingly the only affordable option for someone in my position, or stopping flying entirely and putting those funds into another hobby where my location is not such a handicap.
#1838552
dangerous pete wrote:There is another way, set your own group up. Put an advert on the notice boards of anywhere you would like to fly from, saying you are setting a group up and would anyone else like to join in. No need to specify a particular aircraft type other than a basic type. There are probably loads of people in the same situation as yourself and would jump at a chance to join. You would be wise to join the LAA, as their regime make flying a lot cheaper than the CAA version. The other members of the group will have their own choices of aircraft which may widen your horizon. My experience is with a Jodel 112 group which is about the cheapest flying you can get.
Good luck.


I tried this:

https://afors.com/aircraftView/51596

I had one person contact me; a student learning at Rochester.
#1838556
lobstaboy wrote:
flyingearly wrote:I was expecting to pay £100 a month and £50ish an hour...but if that is genuinely ridiculous, I'd rather someone tells me.
Example - you've just ruled something out because it's over an hour's drive away! Come on! How much do you want this? Are you just subconsciously making it too hard to do so you can give up and blame the cruel world?


Bit harsh and uncalled for. The fact is that I live 25 minutes from Redhill, 20 minutes from Biggin, 30 minutes from Rochester and 45 minutes from Headcorn; I've got 4 big, busy airfields near me. Laddingford, Old Hay, Titsey etc are all within 30 minutes.

I don't want to have to drive an hour each way in order to go flying and I know that I will fly more often if the aircraft is closer. The advert I quoted in East Kent is 1:20 hours drive on a good day from where I live. Shoreham is around 1:10hrs. Lydd is similar.

I am not subconsciously making it too hard; indeed, the fact that I am giving consideration to building my own aircraft rather shows the lengths I am willing to go to continue my flying.

I'm not trying to be petulant and I'm not wilfully ignoring your advice, but equally you're not listening to me in return. I do not want to fly a Thruster, or a paramotor, or a glider, or a balloon, or a drone. I am willing to fly pretty much anything else. I am lucky enough to earn a decent income to cover monthly costs and devote a healthy chunk of my pay to flying; I have a more-than-reasonable amount to cover a share; it's just that they don't come up very often near to where I am.

You are telling me that my view is ridiculous, but perhaps help me to understand what elements are causing the most ridicule and where I can compromise and I can actually benefit from that wisdom. What if my hourly rate was higher? What if the amount I had to buy into a syndicate was higher?
Last edited by flyingearly on Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rob P liked this
#1838558
Look what’s on the right side of this forum:
Image

Can’t get cheaper than that!

Even if you build your own dream machine, it’s the operating costs that you need to consider.
Buy into a group, £5-£10k, it’s cheaper, and you’re sharing the overheads.

With the M25 and M4 White Waltham isn’t so far to go.
#1838567
You have found suitable shares wrt budget etc. elsewhere but not around the SE. Why would that be?

Some reasons why there are fewer local shares available for you/your budget/preferences:
1. Hangarage is so much more expensive that the monthly fees have become unaffordable. Possible. With hangarage going from 100/mth to 400/mth and 10 shares, that would be 30/mth extra. But those are extreme numbers.
2. Fixed costs like insurance, maintenance etc. are much higher than elsewhere. I have not studied this, but it is reasonable to think that a SE based engineer would charge more (higher cost of living) than one based elsewhere. but I wouldn't have thought that the increased engineer hourly cost spread over the flying hours could add much more than a couple of pounds per flying hour. Insurance, parts and materials should cost the same everywhere, I'd have thought.
3. The type of flying you are after is not what the other flyers in your area do and the choice is therefore smaller. Eg if the average SE chap is relatively money richer but time poorer than his peers elsewhere in the country there are likely to be fewer low cost options to flying. This may be the case.
4. Groups in the SE fleece their members. Possible?
5. Timing is everything. Hang around and something will come up closer to you.

1, 2 and to a lesser degree 3 all boil down to budget. Maybe if you go up to 75/hr and 150/mth there may be other options. Or, better, work out an annual budget and slice/dice it with whatever hourly/monthly rate will work based on the hours you realistically think you'll do.

Alternatively instead of flying a planned 100 hours/year content yourself with flying 60 hours per year?

Maybe 5 is the reason and you'll just have to wait...
#1838573
Personally I don't think what you're asking for is impossible, just that it'll take some time and research. If you're talking about Redhill, Rochester or Headcorn, you'll probably have to go on a waiting list for hangarage. Also don't forget, as has been mentioned, the possible £20+ per time landing fees, which I'm not sure you've factored into your £50 an hour.

The strips mentioned would be preferable if they allow groups, and you can get a hangarage slot.

Note that in going for a cheaper aeroplane which requires hangarage, you're just having a different mix to an aeroplane which could be parked outside, so monthlies and hourlies will be in a different offset.

Hangarage at a large airfield is rare and expensive in the south east which probably explains why such groups don't exist - it takes the edge off £50 an hour flying if you have to pay £200 a month each in fixed costs and £24 per landing. If you're doing that, you might as well get a more capable aeroplane and pay a little more per hour, which is why you might not be able to find the group you want.

Buying outright will probably be cheaper than building but you wouldn't have a new aeroplane. If you can afford to build, you could afford to buy outright and then sell shares. Forget investing in and building a kit as a team unless you're part of a particularly good commune of like minded people.

In summary, I don't think it's impossible, but you'd have to be lucky, get your name on hangarage lists, and also to maybe wait until things start getting back to normal before trying to get people interested in shares.
Last edited by Paul_Sengupta on Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#1838575
There may well be some movement once everything opens up again. We’re all a year older and for some, sadly, skills will have become unrecoverably rusty, ill health will have struck or something else will drive a number of pilots out of the skies. Also, with lockdown you won’t have been able to keep your ear to the ground at your local clubs.

As others have said, many - perhaps most? - shares are never advertised on afors. I suspect that significant numbers change hands with no advertising at all.

Also, don’t discount the TMG route. For reasons that I really don’t understand, TMG hourly rates are very low compared to many types.

Keep plugging away. Hopefully the grapevine will deliver.
#1838577
@flyingearly I don't think @lobstaboy is being too harsh at all.

You have actually said giving up and finding another hobby is an option which would take precedence over compromising and travelling another 15 mins. To me something ain't adding up in the logic of your approach to this.

You have me confused. :?

Personally I would have compromised on 15mins a long, long time ago and be sorted now. :D
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