Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

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By Wicksay
When the time comes, whether I wish a share or wish to own, which aircraft would you experienced lovely forumites recommend for a novice, new ppl?

As I expect you'll ask, let's say there are two scenarios; hour building towards more ratings to get to CPL readiness. And secondly, just pleasurable day tripping, weekend trips in UK and nearby Europe. Of course I can combine the two.

In my case I'm taking my ppl in a Robin and will take my first few qualified trips in the club plane I'm learning in, before venturing out in something more affordable and practicable in the longer term.

Wicksay wrote: before venturing out in something more affordable and practicable in the longer term.


If you are genuinly looking for "more affordable" then you'd better start looking at a share as this is the only way you are likely to reduce your outlay. However this will depend o a lot of factors, Before I bought my aircraft 15 years ago I was told I would need to spend around £8K a year before even getting airborne once, believe me they were right and had I believed them I probably wouldn't have ventured into sole ownership. That having been said I actually don't regret it at all, the freedom that sole ownership gives you is fantastic. My advice though would be check the club/school notice boards and magazines for shares and do your sums careefully. Good luck!
I've read threads about shares, about ownership and self build. But not seen one about actual aircraft for us new ppls or soon to be ppls...

Just looking for some suggestions as a first time pilot beyond the ppl trainers...

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By Nero
Gas Guzzler wrote: Before I bought my aircraft 15 years ago I was told I would need to spend around £8K a year before even getting airborne once, believe me they were right

What's that figure in 2020?

I'm very interested in this thread! :)
To add some real numbers as an indication of how affordable it *can* be.

We run a PA28-140 in a group of 15.
(as with all groups, only 7 fly regularly)

£70 a month
£40ph plus fuel (~£70ph)
therefore approx £110

I was a brand new PPL when I bought my share at £2200 about 4 years ago.

I’m only limited by finance. (except see below)

However, we’d not like hour builders in the group as the “how to pay for annuals etc” comes from the monthlies, and if someone blows 100 hours in 3 months, then the group finances don’t work, and you end up in a cash call. This happened when we inadvertently got an hour builder in the group.

I’m flying 30 to 40 hours a year.

If you want to hour build faster than 40 hours a year, you might not be welcome in an equity share, but non equity groups (Blackbushe?) might be perfect.
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By AndyR
To give you further idea (and it might open your eyes!):


Initial 'investment' £6k
Monthlies £96
Wet rate £98 block (basically 0.1 either side of airborne)

Cash calls minimal, but this year has been a heavy one so we are looking at around £800 each (group of 8).

Group flew average 50 hours annually for last three years.

Real hourly rate for my 7 hours last year - £379 :shock: :pale: (ignoring the initial £6k)


Initial investment £7k
Monthlies £50
Insurance - always been a cash call at the time, usually around £300 each
Hourly - whatever 18 - 23 litres of mogas costs at the time

Anything else - cash call. Group of 3.

Not flown for 4 years this June after needing work done for the permit.

Cub 2

Initial investment £3,300
Monthlies - currently nil
Insurance - currently nil (covered another way...)
Cash calls - £6k, share of new engine; £1,500 other (including new leather seat covering & foam)

Hours flown - none for the last 20 years, this is a full blown renovation from the ground up, that three of us bought a couple of years ago; when we were money rich, time poor. Now of course, we are time rich and money poor.
Lesson = just buy an assembled aircraft, not a bag of bits.
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By AndyR
Further to the above post, the first Bulldog three of us bought into was £11k to buy, 6 weeks later it then had a camshaft issue, so whilst it was in we had the annual done and faced our first bill of £29,705.23 between the three of us.

I did 160 hours on that aircraft, sold it to help finance my CPL/IR for about £6k.

Then people wonder why I didn't buy my first house until I was in my late forties...

You can strike lucky. Guess my point is, go for something in one piece, that is not a warbird and has a plentiful supply of parts. Something like a 172 or a PA28 as a starter. Owning your own aircraft, even in a share, can prove to be rather more expensive than you at first bargained for.
If I can liquidate some property assets then about 50k, but I'd prefer to bank at least half of that rather than spend it all in one go, that would be just reckless :-)

Id be open to all affordable options with a bias towards hour building and some hands on maintenance exposure.
Some thoughts
It's a personal thing. You need to like it. Go and look at them, get people to give you rides (when that's possible again), and keep to simple stuff. Apart from that I'd say if you can afford it, go for it.
By afford it I mean you need to forget any trade in value - assume the money has gone. You may get something back later when you sell it, but it's less fraught to only spend what you can afford (a bit like a night out at a casino - only take what you can afford to lose and leave your credit cards at home).
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