I run a very small plane share. It’s like a flying club, except:

  • Membership is capped at four people.
  • There is no equity buy-in; we just split the operating costs.

Little Red is a 180HP 1978 Cessna 172N. She climbs quick, looks sharp, has the best all-glass cockpit you’ve ever seen in a 172, and is a joy to fly!

Price

Membership is $275/mo. There’s no initiation fee, and you can cancel anytime.

The flying cost is $105 per wet tach-hour.

Compared to a rented 180HP Cessna 172 at $175 per hobbs-hour, this is 43% cheaper at full cruise and 77% cheaper while taxiing. The financial break-even point is less than five hours per month, and even lower if you go on multiday trips.

Additional Financial Benefits

As a group of shared operators, we have super favorable terms compared to FBOs and most flying clubs:

  • No monthly hour quotas.
  • No per-reserved-day minimums when you go on trips. Pay only for the hours you actually fly.
  • No rental insurance needed. You are named insured on the main policy.
  • Fuel ups while traveling are reimbursed at full cost even if it’s more than our home rate.
  • No pre-payments required. You can pay via Venmo after each flight.
  • No security deposit.
  • No liability for unforeseen maintenance – that is my sole responsibility.

Logistical Benefits:

  • Hangared year round.
  • Canvas covers are provided so you can tie down on the cheap at your destination.
  • Tanis engine heater makes for easy winter starting, and you can turn it on by text message instead of making an extra trip to the airport.
  • We’re capped at four members, to maximize availability.
  • Scheduling is easy – just send a Google Calendar invite.
  • We use a full service FBO for local fuel-ups, so all you have to do to top off is send a text message or make a phone call.

The Plane

  • 1978 172N with Avcon 180HP conversion. Climbs like a bat out of hell!
  • Sharp red paint.
  • Good interior. Plastic shows its age, but the seats and fabric are in great shape.
  • All-glass, fully redundant, IFR certified glass cockpit
    • Dynon 10” Pilot PFD, 7” Pilot MFD, 3.8” Pilot backup EFIS
    • Dynon 10” Copilot PFD
    • Dynon ADS-B in/out weather and traffic
    • Dynon engine and fuel monitor
    • Dynon autopilot
    • Avidyne IFD-540 GPS
  • LED landing, taxi, anti-collision, beacon, tail, and position lights
  • 406 MHz ELT
  • Ground power system, so you can learn the avionics inside and out without paying for flight time.

Airplane Operation

Using the Engine Heater

We have an engine heater for easy and safe starting in winter weather. The plug receptacle is next to the oil dipstick, and it can be turned on by phone call or text message. Ask me for the phone number.

Please be sure to use the heater in cold weather – it saves a lot of engine wear compared to a cold start.

When the outside air temperature is under 50 degrees F, please turn the engine heater on at least 4 hours before you fly the plane.

There are three ways to turn the heater on or off:

  1. Call it. This will toggle the heater between on and off.
  2. Text it “10” to turn it off, or “11” to tun it on.
  3. Text it “12”. This will turn it on for 18 hours.

In each case, you will receive a text message back indicating the status. In bad weather/cell reception, it can take up to an hour to hear back from the heater.

When you get to the plane, you can turn the heater off by pressing the red button on the switch behind the extension cord. Then you can unplug the heater.

Please be sure to turn the heater off when you are done using it or if you cancel your flight. If you use method 3 above, it will automatically turn off the heater if you decide not to fly.

Policies

Safety, safety, safety.

This club is low-key, easygoing, and flexible. My only rigid ask is that everybody be highly safety-minded, and speak up if you notice anything or make any mistake that could cause a safety issue. I promise I’m not one to get mad about such things. We’re all human, and that’s why we have insurance.

Pilot liability

Pilots are liable for and agree to pay for any damage they cause that is not covered by our insurance. Normal wear and tear is excluded, as it is priced into our operating costs.

Fuel

If there’s less than 25g when you put the plane back in the hangar, please call in a fuel-up. We’re on account with Eagle East Aviation, so you can just call them at 978-683-3314 or UNICOM 122.85 and tell them you’d like N934GR filled to tabs. If the attendant isn’t familiar with the plane, just mention we are on the north ramp and they have a key.

If you need to get fuel at another airport, text me a photo of your receipt and I will reimburse you immediately.

Booking

We use a Google calendar to manage all airplane booking. To book a flight, create a calendar event and add “N934GR” as a guest to it. The calendar will automatically accept it if there is no conflict with prior bookings. This acceptance is your booking confirmation.

You can click on the N934GR calendar to see when it’s booked vs available.

Please err toward overestimating how long you will have the plane so that nobody is stuck waiting.

Payment

All payments are made via Venmo.

On the last day of the month, I will send you a request for the monthly fixed operating costs for the following month.

Immediately after your flight, please submit a flight log. The form will tell you the operating cost of the flight. Please send me that amount via Venmo, with a reference to the date of the flight.

Multiday trips

Multiday trips are fine, just be respectful of your fellow pilots. Please use the canvas covers if tying down outside.