Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Jet in Every Garage?

Not likely!

They are just too expensive. Even as new smaller jets are on their way from notable firms such as Honda, the cost of purchase alone is more than $3 million. Maintenance, operation and storage will bump that cost up another $300,000 annually (given a norm stated to me by several aircraft-owning friends.....But, admittedly related to prop aircraft).

However another format, part ownership, may be just the ticket. Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) displayed one solution in this TCS Daily article.

Glenn's potential solution to still-burgeoning costs of operation and maintenance is already in operation with some of my friends. They have a slightly different version going. Instead of buying a fraction of a jet's time, they actually buy the plane in fractions and then share the costs. They maintain a log of all costs and then share them. A simple on-line calendar suffices to keep straight who gets the bird and when. The costs are shared, of course, in proportion to each owner's use.

It seems to me this is a simpler means of doing the fractional-ownership thing. And, my friend who is in a small ownership group in his prop plane insists it works really well.

Perhaps there might be "a jet in every garage" some day. This obviously would work much better in larger areas or areas where enough folks capable and interested in flying on a fairly frequent basis live. My friends who do this are located in Dallas.

Maybe Glenn needs to look into some of his professor friends or a few local industrialists/financial folks to begin working toward his own jet-filled garage.

I, by the way, find this way exciting, but have decided against plane ownership as I was looking at the new Light Sport Aircraft, two passenger birds...but settled for a quite nice 33 ft Class A motorhome for my retirement instead. Hard to sleep in a plane that holds two, and my speed of travel is usually not an issue.