The cost of airplane acquisition and flying can be reduced by 50%-75% through shared ownership.
Jeffrey S. Brewer is the President & Founder of Connecting Aviators®. The company provides cloud-based Interactive Aviator Software on native iOS devices to help pilots find, connect, and share their passion for flying with fellow aviators.
He has written articles, such as, “The Value of Shared Aircraft Ownership,” which was published in Cirrus Pilot Magazine, April 2020 and “A Clear Solution for Ice Protection,” published in the Special Safety Issue of Cirrus Pilot Magazine, April 2018. And, he has authored over 350 weblogs during the past 7-years on general aviation trends, high performance aircraft and cost of ownership.
Jeffrey has more than 2.000 hours of flight time in airplanes, including Cirrus Perspective SR22 Turbos, Bonanzas, Cessnas, and Piper Aircraft.
The Value of Shared Aircraft Ownership
It’s understood that costs differ by airplane type and with the passage of time, but a good valuation framework facilitates discussions, cost measurements, and process improvements. Our five-year case study on “The Value of Shared Aircraft Ownership” involved a $400,000 high-performance airplane, but the methodology can be applied to most aircraft co-ownerships. The study also included information gleaned from hundreds of pilot discussions about airplane expenses and co-ownership issues.
Three co-owners each realized $169,000 in value through shared ownership of a high-performance Cirrus Turbo airplane over a five-year period. The study identified $74,000 in direct expense savings per member compared to single-pilot ownership over five years. The analysis also quantified the value of member-contributed capital for airplane acquisition at $90,000 and goodwill from co-ownership formation at $5,000.
A three-step quantitative method was applied, which included establishing a valuation framework, organizing costs, and calculating expenses. The valuation framework included four categories: variable costs, fixed costs, acquisition capital, and co-ownership goodwill.
Variable Costs were items which increased or decreased relative to flight hours, such as fuel, oil, magnetos, brakes, tires, and engine. Fixed Costs included expenses incurred regardless of flight hours. These costs typically expired based on calendar months, for example, hangar, insurance and life-limited items, such as annuals, AmSafe airbags, CAPS, etc. Acquisition Capital came from member contributed capital. Goodwill was derived from the formation of a successful co-ownership.
Get the “The Value of Shared Aircraft Ownership” 5-year case study for free which includes new information not previously published. Available at no charge through the link located above.
A Clear Solution for Ice Protection
It makes sense that a manufacturer based in Duluth Minnesota wouldn’t just slip up on the idea of ice protection. For almost two decades, Cirrus airplanes have flown with a clear solution for ice. And, protection from the threat of ice remains a preferred option among pilots of the iconic Cirrus SR22. From its beginning, Cirrus Aircraft has been focused on safety and innovation. The original article “A Clear Solution for Ice Protection” is available through Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association, Cirrus Pilot Magazine, Special Safety Issue, April 2018.
“My first experience with airplane co-ownership was 30 years ago. Currently, I’m in two co-ownerships, a Piper Dakota and a Cirrus Perspective SR22TN Turbo (4 and 3 co-owners respectively). Without partners, it would not have been economically wise to be in two planes. But I’m fortunate to fly both without bearing the full financial load.
Putting finances aside, a big benefit of co-ownership is what I call partnership. It’s the people you meet who really become your friends. You develop a bond, share experiences, and learn from each other. I’m more knowledgeable about these airplanes and how they operate because of my partners. With good partners, there’s always someone who steps up when the plane needs a maintenance trip. Time demands drop off when you share the issues. And pilots think alike and have similar interests. We become friends for life.
Jeff was one of my previous co-owners and is truly what a partner should be like. He took the time to share his knowledge about the plane and we had many memorable flights. Jeff has immersed himself in understanding the real cost of aircraft ownership. What you see on the surface does not tell the whole story. Jeff published a very good 5-year case study on “The Value of Shared Aircraft Ownership.”
To me, co- ownership makes perfect sense.”
– Eric O., Houston, Texas
“To me, co-ownership makes perfect sense.”
Eric O., Houston, Texas
“I have been an airplane co-owner with Jeff – not my first rodeo in partnerships. Having rented for a while, I wanted all the good things that come with ownership, but without the costs! That’s what a good partnership does for you. But it’s important to closely vet your partners.
A good co-ownership actually adds value above and beyond just spreading the costs. This is where partnering with Jeff was key to making me a big supporter of co-ownerships. Jeff’s experience, advice, and detailed oriented approach, made our co-ownership experience great. Even when faced with tough choices, like needing to prematurely overhaul our engine. Jeff’s leadership with this, price and options benchmark, was super, yielding fantastic results within our unpleasant surprise.”
-Emiliano B., Houston, Texas
“Define your partner qualifications as well as you define your aircraft needs because both will have a significant impact on the pleasure and usefulness of your co-ownership experience.”
Dan C., Bellaire, Texas
“A good co-ownership actually adds value above and beyond just spreading the costs.”
Emiliano B., Houston, Texas
“Over the past 19-years, I’ve been in three aircraft co-ownerships and each one has provided a better level of aircraft, in terms of cost and capability, than I could justify on my own.
Define your partner qualifications as well as you define your aircraft needs because both will have a significant impact on the pleasure and usefulness of your co-ownership experience. Ideally, all should share a common view on access, operation, maintenance, upgrades, and financial commentment that’s commensurate with the value of the aircraft.
Joining or creating a partnership with the right co-owners will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the GA experience.”
Dan C. , Bellaire, Texas
“I have been a partner with Jeff in two aircraft co-ownerships spanning 9 years. Jeff understands what it takes to structure a great flying partnership financially and socially. Truly, a great experience and I encourage those looking for guidance to consult with Jeff.”
– Charles W., Tullahoma, Tennessee
“The obvious benefit of aircraft co-ownership is in reducing the cost of flying by sharing the fixed costs. However, I feel that there is another aspect which is rarely mentioned and that is the social side. Get into the right group with like-minded pilots and you will discover new lifelong friends. You’ll begin with at least two things in common, a shared love of aviation and your jointly owned airplane.
In 40 years of flying, I have been in ten co-ownerships and have made many good friends. In the early years, I gained a lot of knowledge from others. In the later years, I’ve tried to share it forward. Hopefully, I’ve passed on some of what I’ve learned to newer and less experienced pilots.
Owning an aircraft by yourself can be a lonely experience and a heavy financial drain. Shared ownership can solve both of those issues and more.”
– Chris H., Katy, Texas