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Paramotor shared ownership ?


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Hello all.

New to the forum and hopefully I’ll soon be new to the sport.

Over the past few years I have had a couple of trial flights in gliders (winch and tow) and 3 flights in a friend’s microlight (fixed wing Eurostar).

I absolutely loved the microlight, but considering my personal finances, there is no way I would be able to afford to get my PPL, let alone a share in a microlight. So that was always going to be a non-starter.

 

But I have this urge to fly.

 

I can honestly see myself taking to Paramotoring, there is a school and airfield very local to me and from what I have seen, Paramotoring is going to be much friendlier on the wallet than a plane of any sort. But I am not under any illusion that it can and will cost a big chunk of money at some point. So I will eventually need to work out, and limit costs.

 

But the training looks affordable and will likely be spread over a couple of months or so. And there seems to be second hand equipment about, at a more reasonable price range than new equipment.

And this got me thinking on shared ownership. It is common place with most other aircraft types.

Does shared ownership exist in the Paramotoring world?

Surely a £5000+ purchase, split between two has halved the initial outlay. I assume that not everyone flies every weekend (I am assuming most people who work 9-5 fly predominantly at weekends) so the motor and wing would be available at most times to suit. I would be more than happy to get a 50% chance of flying an affordable Paramotor, than 100% chance of one I can’t afford.

I guess the down side would be, if you Paramotor-share with a friend, you wouldn’t get to fly with that friend.

And there is the possibility of damage or wear and tear and who takes responsibility for that. But this is covered very well with aircraft, so surely can be covered in a similar way on the lower end of the cost scale.

 

Would you like a 1 week slot each month of a brand new Paramotor for a quarter of the price? One week a month enough?

 

Or have I missed something really obvious?

Perhaps clubs or schools have club equipment that they rent out? Or are you encouraged to get your own?

 

Thanks for reading, and hopefully I’ll be able to update on starting training very soon.

 

Steve

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Welcome to PMC Steve.

It would be inevitably complicated, for some of the reasons you suggest. Especially once someone bends the machine or something equally as bad. And at the end of the day, they're not that expensive when compared to other aircraft. 

I recall someone a few years ago trying to set up some kind of hiring business for paramotors. I recall it not actually sounding very cheap to hire but was a lot cheaper than buying, assuming you didn't fly much. Never heard of it again so I guess the numbers didn't work out.

You can use school kit to learn to fly so that's probably where you want to put your focus for now.

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Paul Mahoney did hire for a while in Spain then France.

i hired once off him in las candelas.

buy yeh its not cheap either.

youd be better getting a cheap 2nd hand motor and wing. 2000 quid should get you a good solid 1500 paramotor and an old but still good 500 quid wing.

for example my reaction is a 2007 and as good as new imho.. but doubt I'd get more than 500 quid for it.

and paramotor wise, I agree with Steve - use the schools and get familiar, then keep an eye out for a light 2stroke that got just enough power to get you flying well. You don't say what weight you are, but if under 80kg you can't go wrong with an older pap top 80.. clutch, light, stainless cage bends back easy and parts are cheap. Like many u could find your still flying it in 5 years time. Stay away from heavy motors and things with more power than you need.

Sharing ain't worth th hassle. 

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And there's also the problem that the weather's perfect who gets to fly 9_9 No No you said it was my turn :o, and like above what if 1 of you is more clumsy than the other ?, could be OK at the beginning but if the expenses accrue due to 1 person i think it'll go sour very rapidly,  

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Thanks all for the replies.

Weight, I am under 80kg (just, if I breath in :D) so thanks for that info powerlord.

And I fully understand that second hand kit will last me for many years and cost a fraction of new equipment,

But one of the beauties of shared ownership must be that stuff gets used. Look at how many hangers across the UK have really nice planes sat there NOT being used for 80% of the year. My friend is in a syndicate of (IIRC) about 6 people, so his cost is much more reasonable than if he wanted to buy a Eurostar microlight. But he hardly ever has to wait for a weekend flight. I bet there must be hundreds of paramotors sitting in people's garages, sheds, storage that are gathering dust. And there must be nearly as many people, like me, that can't afford £5K or £6K. If only the people with the kit and the people who want the kit could meet on middle ground.

That's it! Tinder for the Paramotor community. Just swipe left. Or is it right?

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The trouble is, you do not choose when you can fly, you only fly when the weather allows you to.

So you all wait until a flyable weather window appears, and all parties (who may have been patiently waiting weeks for a flight) all want to take advantage of this weather.

Who flies?

There may be only one way to decide: fight!!

Flying opportunities are far less frequent for PPG than they are for GA.

If you take it in turns your time in the air could be months and months apart. It ain`t going to work...

You`ve got to be like an airborne Ninja when you`re a paramotorist - strike quickly when conditions are right!

 

Edited by Hann__
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Thanks Hann__, some very good points, I especially like the Harry Hill and the airborne ninja references :D

I do get that the weather will dictate flights. I do get that some people will be waiting weeks for a 'chance' of a flight.

But how many times has there been good weather, paramotor in a shed, but the wife wants a day out shopping, the kids need taking to football, the bathroom needs regrouting, so you DON'T fly. Now those are the times when it seems waste to have £5k worth of kit sitting there.

Yet the poor sod who wakes up with clear weather window, the opportunity to fly, yet can't afford the £5k +. So no flying. That is why aircraft syndicates were set up, to allow multiple people the chance to fly, rather than one rich bugger having a plane gather dust in a hanger, plus the owner makes a few quid.

I know that the obvious route for me, like most people, will be to learn, borrow equipment short term, then buy 2nd hand as soon as funds allow. But there must be dozens of PPG in sheds and garages local to me that could be used. That is what gets me. Same with many things. Caravans is another example, I can't afford a nice new caravan, but I drive past 2 storage yards daily and see the same ones, un-used for months. I could make use of one. It's just a shame that lots of 'toys' people with disposable income buy, are often put away and hardly used. And Paramotors must be one of the top ones on a list. Motorbikes, speedboats, jetskis etc.

So, thanks for all the replies, it seems that I just need to start saving now.

Edited by Balidey
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Take today as an example, PPG pilots who have been waiting patiently (cough) for this weather will have their priorities right and be out in it, even if it means rearranging as much of their regular life as possible. You don't miss the flyable days after lots of crappy weather, your family and work will come to understand this ... or not. :-) I cancelled this morning's work and went flying - you have no choice! 

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Ah, the benefit of not having a 9-5.

Maybe that is the answer. Shared ownership with a 9-5 worker having sole use at the weekends and a self-employed, or flexi-hours worker having sole use during the week.

I do get what most of you are saying though. I was just really asking if these schemes existed as I know they do for other aircraft.

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Hi Balidey

I'm coming from a microlight background where I shared a plane, so I have a few thoughts on the subject.  Some of this is from experience and some of it is speculative as I've not had any real exposure to paramotoring yet.. so please forgive me if I've made some assumptions that the more experienced of you disagree with!

I think you're absolutely right about the number of paramotors sitting idle in sheds and closets.  I know with our plane, even with the quite large weather window we had it could go months without either myself or my plane partner using it.  Even with the much narrower weather window of a paramotor most people have other things in their life that sucks up their time.  There are some things to bear in mind, though.

First, your partner is key - both their reasonableness and their skill/ dedication as a pilot and to taking care of the equipment.  I don't think sharing between more than two would be worth the hassle it would cause in coordination.

Second, access - you need somewhere convenient to keep the kit.  If you're happy for them to have a key to your garage and turn up at short notice in the middle of the night or while you're away to pick it up for a morning flight you're set.  You really want it to be somewhere close or you'll never go pick it up to use when the weather is suddenly perfect.

You'll need a damage policy.  I get the impression that paramotor damage is a not uncommon occurrence (even if it's just bending the prop cage), whereas damage to a plane is the exception.  Unless you can get "full hull" insurance, if you manage to write it off you'll still have to find the other half of the money to buy out your partner.  You might be more comfortable with sharing one part (probably the motor), and having the wing be the individual pilot's responsibility.

With microlights, the initial outlay is pretty modest - 3-9k can get you a great secondhand plane,and they hold their value well.  The training is frankly fantastic value.  The big costs are the ongoing costs of hangarage (if you can't keep it at home), permitting and insurance - all that added up to about £2k, which was normally more than we spent on actually flying!  With a paramotor you get a lot less for your money (performance wise), but very few ongoing costs as long as you don't prang it - and I have to say I love the idea of being able to chuck it in the back of your car to take it on holiday with you!

It's certainly something I wouldn't rule out. Where are you based?

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5 hours ago, Steve said:

Take today as an example, PPG pilots who have been waiting patiently (cough) for this weather will have their priorities right and be out in it, even if it means rearranging as much of their regular life as possible.

Same here, i saw today was a goer so booked a half day off work at short notice yesterday and spent 2 1/2 hours in the air this afternoon - only my second days flying this year!

 

8 hours ago, Balidey said:

But how many times has there been good weather, paramotor in a shed, but the wife wants a day out shopping, the kids need taking to football, the bathroom needs regrouting, so you DON'T fly. Now those are the times when it seems waste to have £5k worth of kit sitting there.

 

Well, maybe i`m lucky or maybe my wife just puts up with me and my idiosynchrasies, but flying comes first!

I`ve still not finished the skirting board from when the floor was laid 18 months ago, but that`s more a reflection on my total disinterest and lack of mojo when it comes to anything to do with DIY than anything else..

 

You`re right - there are loads of motors and wings sat in folks houses doing nothing, and they tend to end up for sale very frequently.

I get the impression there`s quite a high drop-out rate for PPGers for one reason or another, so you can get nearly-new kit (especially wings it seems) for very reasonable money - half price kit with only a handful of hours. My first wing was a grand off the new price with 1.6 hours on it...

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It's certainly a matter of perspective - I get where you are coming from.

I have lots of toys - but I don't share em. My ducati in the garage gets used a few times a year. I have 2 sports cars, but one is just kept in storage in the garage (it's increasing in value several thousand a year so no point selling it), I have a motorhome I use for flying holidays and weekends a year, etc, etc.

I have 2 paramotors (one sold last night, one to sell, then get new one next week)

But with a few exceptions, I buy used, and then they cost me practically nothing. They don't depreciate, and they are there when I want em.

They way I look at it is:

- buy a 2nd hand paramotor for 2500 quid. Use or or don't - you'll sell it for 2500 quid in 5 years. So all you are losing is the almost negligible interest you'd have if the money was in the bank.

Same goes for most good quality 'leisure' stuff. i.e. had my ducati for 6 years - worth same as I bought it for. Had my motorhome for 5 years - lost a bit of cash... but only maybe 5k total - that's 1k a year - I couldn't rent one for more than 2 weekends for that price.

And if yer lucky (like with my car), you find it becomes a collectors item and increases in value!

So provided you avoid buying new stuff, and buy good quality in demand boys toys - it's as good as money in the bank imho.

The nature of leisure items premium pricing works in your favour here. i.e. almost all the depreciation is done in the first 3 years - then the fact they are very well made, well maintained, lightly used, and constantly in demand, combined with the fact new ones will be costing more and more, means that depreciations almost falls to zero.

Now there IS the moral question of 'is this wasteful, etc'. But my view here too is:

1. this is better than buying new - it's green - this has already been made, you are just giving it a home

2. sharing boys toys just disnae work in practice. Take my motorhome - it's full of my stuff - my paramotor, my tools, my cloths, my food, etc, etc - thats the whole benefit - I can jump in and go away for weekend or have a flight (motorhome garage has all my paramotor and gear in it, so I use it for every flight). That just wouldn't work hiring it out or sharing it - I do know a few folk that do hire their motorhome out, but it seems a hell of a lot of hassle to me, and they are just sofa sitting motorhomers = so it's less hassle for them to take their belongings out every time - still a lot of hassle if you ask me though.

And the sheer number of others that do the same, means:

1. there is a steady market for well maintained boys toys

2. 1 also helps to maintain the lack of depreciation.

So in summary my view of this stuff is that basically you are not 'spending' money really - you are just choosing an alternative savings portfolio...

and one that's a damn site more fun than looking at a bank balance :-)

 

 

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32 minutes ago, powerlord said:

. Take my motorhome - it's full of my stuff - my paramotor, my tools, my cloths, my food, etc, etc -

Well that's a very kind offer, thanks, just let me know when to collect :D 

You do make a very good point about the long term value. My initial question was why can't I get access to under-used kit. Yet if shared ownership was a thing, then all that kit would be more used, and abused, and it would bring down the secondhand market value as a whole.

Back to saving.

PS, been watching some of your Youtube videos recently. Really good. And one of the reasons I am keen to get airborne. And you're not a million miles from me either, I'm in Spalding, and I'm sure I recognised some of the patchwork fields on your 10,000ft flight.

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