January 2010 Issue
Aircraft Partnerships: Find the Right People
The best partnerships are like good marriages: Well-matched individuals who contribute equitably—and a solid prenuptial agreement just in case.
On the surface, co-owning an aircraft just makes sense. Most airworthy privately-owned light singles fly less than 100 hours a year—in many cases far less. Regular use is better for the aircraft and better for amortizing the fixed costs (hangar, insurance, databases) per hour of flight. More users should mean more bang for everyone’s buck. Unfortunately, several owners also mean more opportunities for conflicts in time, resources, flying style, opinion and even personality. Being connected to anyone by your checkbook can put a strain on the best relationship. There’s no magic formula for creating the right partnership. But our survey results hit the same key points with metronome-like regularity: Good partnerships have clear expectations between partners of similar economic standing, and they have written rules or bylaws to settle disputes.
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