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 1977 Cessna 172N. She climbs quick and looks sharp!
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 on the owner policy, and we negotiate a waiver of subrogation on your behalf.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 1977 172N with Avcon 180HP conversion. Climbs like a bat out of hell!
- Sharp red paint job, but a bit faded.
- Good interior. Cockpit plastic shows its age, but the seats and fabric are in great shape.
- Panel is highly functional:
- Nice glass Aspen Pro 1000 PFD
- Fully integrated Garmin 250XL VFR GPS, providing real time ground speed and wind on the Aspen.
- IFR certified (but no IFR GPS)
A few things will happen when you join:
- You’ll fill out insurance paperwork.
- Sign up for Venmo (an online payment service) if you don’t already have an account.
- Set up an appointment to get a KLWM North Ramp keycard (I will help you with this).
- I will give you a key to the hangar and keys to the plane!
Using the Engine Heater
We have an engine heater for easy and safe starting in winter weather. It plugs in next to the oil dipstick, and it can be turned on by phone call or text message. I will give you the phone number when you join the club.
Please be sure to use the heater – 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 4-6 hours before you fly the plane.
There are a few ways to turn the heater on or off:
- Call it. This will toggle the heater between on and off.
- Text it “10” to turn it off, or “11” to tun it on.
- 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.