How do people do this?
We have many threads about prebuys but if you are buying into a syndicate there are obviously extra dimensions. And you cannot do what is often suggested: get the seller to pay for an Annual, discount the selling price by the engine overhaul, etc.
That would be very unusual.
In my experience, when joining a syndicate, you are primarily choosing to join based on the people in the group. The aircraft is a secondary consideration. With the right people in the group, things can go well. With the wrong people, things can go terribly wrong, even if the aircraft is superb.
In syndicate aircraft, especially, in a well functioning group you can fly aircraft for a while with other people (or even alone if you cough running costs and instruance/training is ok), you can also attend one or two annuals before actually buying the share, I am sure there is plenty of time to get to know group (1st consideration) and know aircraft & mechanic (2nd consideration)
I am not sure what pre-buy on share add? taking it to another mechanic for prebuy/annual? I am sure exiting group people (again well functioning groups) will be happy with that if you cover it and practically speaking, you tend to get more time and options, usually there is not much competition or hurry when buying into syndicates
Maybe things are different if an existing member is looking to sell ASAP? still it took 18months to sell my old UK share
PS: I have aircraft listed for 3rd person, we found someone who is interested with the right profile but none of us existing owners is in a hurry to sell, the buyer is not in a hurry to buy neither: he was around for annual but now disappeared to fly something else for few weeks, we will see how it goes again in 2 months or next year
I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. I have heard of lots of groups having problems with maintenance, which is inevitable. Nobody has enough skin in the game to care; they naturally err on the side of caution, and maintenance companies know they can divide a big bill in many ways. Same as a club aeroplane.
Lots of syndicates are operating somewhat dodgy planes. I have seen some, when I was looking 2000-2002. Tended to be duff avionics, resulting from the usual thing where some members are VFR-only and some are IFR, and they can’t agree on fixing IFR avionics. You also get other stuff which is duff but the group can’t agree on the cost so it gets left. I hear a great deal of stuff which could never be posted.
Nobody has enough skin in the game to care; they naturally err on the side of caution, and maintenance companies know they can divide a big bill in many ways.
The meaning of “caution” here is a bit unclear Group ownership and maintenance of anything is problematic in my experience, but it’s interesting to ponder whether group ownership more often overspends while getting nothing special (as I might expect) or if they simply won’t address problems, especially if it may involve spending money, as Peter suggests.
I joined a Jodel Syndicate at the start of 1990. I looked at he planes conditon, and was concerned about the wing. I reckoned I would save my £1,600 investment in less than a year, compared to the cost of renting. It was written off after 5 months, engine failure. The insurance paid. My suspicions about the wing were confirmed.
We bought another Jodel. The Syndicate broke up due to age, etc, and I flew the current Jodel to a new home on 22 December 2020.
More important than the aircraft condition is the Syndicate finances.
What I forgot to add to my last post is that YES the people matter more than the plane. If the group is dysfunctional (as most seem to be) then you are buggered even if the plane is a brand new 737 which came with a free lifetime maintenance contract
But the above does not mean the plane is not a factor. In large groups, say 30, stuff tends to get fixed, but those groups are usually operating shagged out old dogs, and you rarely get weekend access. In very small groups, say 2-3, and where each member could probably run the plane himself (financially), you see a high % of successful syndicates. In between these two, say 4-10 members, is where one gets the most “fun”.
However I did not want to start yet another syndicate thread. I wanted to know how people approach the assessment of the plane.
I think it is politically tricky. It may involve the group revealing the level of non-satisfaction with the current maintenance arrangement, and they never know whether in the gossip-ridden GA scene this will get back to the maintenance company which will then kick them out (most are powerful and many own the airport).
We had 2 quick share sales of a tatty fabric, engine past TBO, Jodel, but with a fund that covered the share price.
After a wing rebuild we still had cash, and likely it would have built up enough to cover the engine rebuild before that was needed
But too many shares had to be sold at once and we sold the plane to pay out.
What sort of questions do people ask about the plane when getting into a syndicate?
First I would ask about the engine fund…