We are getting to a point where you can rent or share almost anything these days. And when I say "rent," I don't mean from an established business or agency; I am referring to the wave of rent anything you own type of world we live in now. It could be your house, boat, RV, car, or even your backyard pool and couch is fair game to rent out these days. The popularity of gaining access to these items rather than own is growing exponentially, and the setup is usually a win-win for both parties involved.
Using your rentable item generates additional income for one party. It provides access to the same things that may not have been possible otherwise, without the hassle of ownership for the other. The thought of renting out my dog comes to mind, but she just gave me a "don't you dare" look as if she knew what I was thinking.
The average GA pilot flies less than 40 hours per year. If they own their plane, that's a lot of ramp time, and aircraft ownership can be daunting. The up-front acquisition costs, maintenance, finding suitable aircraft insurance, hangar, and more can discourage even the savviest aviator from purchasing. The regulatory and liability aspects alone are usually enough of a deterrent for most people not to pursue aircraft ownership.
Although we saw a spike in aircraft sales during the past two years, if you look at the rough data for certified pilots (approximately 695k in 2020) vs. GA registered aircraft (just over 200k in 2020), we see less than 1/3 of those pilots are aircraft owners. The aviation industry has always been lopsided, with people who obtain their pilot's license as more of a hobby than a need for work or business purposes. Bottom line, airplanes are not cheap to own and operate, so it's not hard to answer the question of why don't more pilots own aircraft.
Unique programs are emerging that combine a concierge-type service and the feeling of aircraft ownership without the hassle and high costs. Low Altitude Adventures has launched a membership program that gives pilots 50 DAYS per year with a flat fee buy-in and fixed monthly dues flying the sporty ICON A5.
It is a unique aircraft that has proven somewhat challenging to own based on insurance requirements. This program gives members access to one of the most fun aircraft to fly on the market today without all the ownership challenges. Our Icon Authorized Flight Instructors can guide members through the training program and help them safely navigate the exciting world of water operations.
Because the ICON is so specific to its mission of simply splashing around and having fun, this membership program can be a great compliment to the aircraft owner that doesn't want to give up the speed, range, and payload of their current aircraft. With our second location opening in Laconia, NH, LAA members can access both ICONs and truly diversify their fun flying experience.
Contact our team today to schedule a demo flight! email@example.com