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

Moderator: AndyR

VRB_20kt wrote:For a somewhat different approach, consider TMG/SLMG. Free flying if you’re prepared to turn off the engine (I rarely do!) and around £30ph with it on. Monthly costs vary but with a reasonably sized group £50pm seems to be of the right order. Modern TMGs are comfortable and relaxing to fly. Often made of GRP and having modern-ish engines reduces maintenance costs too. And there’s the added bonus that hours flown count towards “Group A” totals if that’s important to you.
I had a trial flight at Ringmer as its my closest runway... Great fun and hadn't considered getting some time in a Touring Motor Glider.
Our group Jodel DR1050 ( LAA Permit so we can do the work) cost about £24k to purchase, with an older engine, which we know we will need to replaced soon. However with needing to build a hanger to put it in, we've put about £40k of capital info the group, as an initial outlay.
We pay £50 post month across 17 of us to cover known fixed costs such as hangerage, insurance, annual maintenance and fees, then £60 per hour to fly, which aims to cover fuel and depreciation in engine (engines are scheduled to last only so many flooding hours), so the age and therefore value of the engine is built into the purchase price). The aircraft is flying 80 hours a year.

We are now looking at cost of a replacement engine, which is likely in the region of £18k, and have built up a fund of around £12k so will need to all put in a little more cash.
In our first year we spent around £3500 on maintenance, this year would have been at least that but one of the group has re made the seats from scratch after a crack was found, so it's time rather than money draining.
So on initial purchase of £24k, with an additional £11K for a shared hanger and initial maintenance of £3500, our group is putting in about 10K a year plus lots of labour before the aircraft leaves the ground, to fly at £60 per hour.

On my other LAA aircraft we had hundreds of hours of labour this annual by group members...
All the numbers are a little bit approximate above, but Jodel group only. Like most groups, not everyone is currently flying (assuming no CV19) - includes a student, someone whose had medical suspended and a few new joiners who need to do their tailwheel rating on her still.
Don't always worry about group size.

Ours is nominally about 23 but 3 never fly our aircraft but they are members so they can have their aircraft in our hangar. 1 other has another aircraft elsewhere and one hasn't flown for a couple of years at least. Of the remaining members about 13/14 fly regularly - we do 250 to 300 hours a year on a C172.
New engine due in about 2 years and we have the funds.
£50 pm and just reduced flying rate to £77.50 per flying hr.
We have just bought 10000 L of 100LL at a very good rate.
AndyR wrote:
Two seater, then hire a 4 seater when required.

The above is an important point. Often people feel they must have a four seater because there's the partner, some teenagers, a few friends and they'll all be clamouring to go flying at every opportunity.

It doesn't always work like that and there are many instances here of people who can't persuade their nearest and dearest to climb aboard for another flight.

Even the esteemed Mrs P has to be bribed with the promise there will be French spoken at the other end, above average nosh and a decent hotel.

Terrify those around you in a rented Cherokee and when the novelty has worn off decide just how many seats you really do need 360/365

Rob P
AndyR liked this
@Rob P I agree with you on that. When I first got my licence I flew friends and family but it quite soon became clear that, after the novelty had worn off, none were really all that interested. So I bought a single seater, have had it for nearly a quarter of a century and in all that time there has been just one occasion when I wished I had a second seat.
Rob P liked this
Forget the purchase price. It's just a bond that is repaid when you sell the aircraft. The only relevant costs are the running costs. For C of A, you'll do well to keep it below 8K a year, excluding engine/prop replacements. Permit can be flown for rather less.