Affordable Helicopter Share/Group Forming United Kingdom
280/12c=/269C/CB 5000-7000 per share
Looking to form an affordable helicopter group, around an interesting, decent little piston single heli. Heli groups are few and far between....and it would be on something without an airframe overhaul restriction (i.e Robbo!!). It will be based in the Berks/Oxon area ideally, with a view to moving it to different bases (owners gardens....local strips....so long as anyone in the group has access)
I think the ideal candidates would be a Hughes/Schweizer 269 C/CB or an Enstrom 280C (more oomph). Both of these are reasonable 2(+1) seaters and easy to source with decent load capacities. A Hiller or Bell 47 could be on the list, but would invariably mean more members (initial cost higher) and trickier for parts (certainly when compared to the Enstrom). Wont go into teetering rotor heads here... :)
I think that £170 per month and £160 per hour is a reasonable expectation. So if 8 people flew 30 hours per year each, this would equate to about £230 ALL IN PER HOUR...or £240 per hour to include upgrade fund or emergency fund each year. This is based on an aircraft for sale right now and its remaining times on Engine, TR Gearbox, MR Gearbox and Blades!! So the money will be there to pay, as and when....which means your share shouldn't lose any money. Learn on the type (bring your own instructor....or the group could find one, tagged onto an ATO), take it away for a few days. Keep it at home for a few days sometimes. Share with like minded people and pilots.
I would anticipate running it on the N reg, to keep all the maintenance straight forward and realistic. We would utilise one member (who is an A and P IA with access to his own facility who can do the annual, routine and "upkeep maintenance") to keep maintenance costs down and we would build a fund for major component change, as well as upgrades (avionics and the likes).
So there we have it. The idea is sound. Maintenance won't be an issue and you don't need a lot of people, with a lot of money to be able to get it "off the ground" (Groooooan). Plenty of decent machines around the World (and easy to ship....done it lots of times) with good component times and sound places to start!
In the first instance...drop me an email with your thoughts and ideas. This will be a cracking way to get on the heli ladder with low risk and plenty of scope for upgrades and you will get to share times and flights with other like minded folk. Buy the machine, with funds via Escrow or similar and once all members/shares are in...away we go!!