What is a fractional aircraft share program?
The fractional aircraft shares programs were first developed for the jet aircraft industry as a way to share the acquisition and operating costs for corporate aircraft, while contracting the aircraft management to a full-service management team. Aircraft share programs for piston engine aircraft is the next evolution of the fractional concept. By sharing the acquisition and fixed costs of operating a new aircraft, a pilot can have all the benefits of flying new aircraft under a fully managed program without the financial and time commitment that traditional ownership options require.
Is there a daily minimum or maximum?
Absolutely not! This is your aircraft to use for as few or as many hours per day as you choose.
Do I have to pay the whole sales tax expense on a new aircraft?
No. When you purchase an aircraft for sole ownership (or conventional partnership) you must pay sales tax on the entire purchase price of the plane (at the time of purchase or within 6 months). Through the unique SharePlus Program, the sales tax is included in your monthly payment, and is only a fraction of the amount you would pay on the whole plane, and is spread out over the term of the program. For less than 1/2 of what you would pay in sales tax on the purchase of a new plane, you can purchase a fractional share and have money left over for fuel.
How is SharePlus different than a traditional partnership?
A traditional partnership generally consists of one plane and 2-4 owners/pilots. Partners usually take turns managing the aircraft and accounting for costs. Partnerships have many liabilities; if one partner cannot cover their costs or declares bankruptcy, the other partners are forced to pay the defaulting partner's bills or risk having the plane encumbered. The SharePlus Program was designed to minimize liability exposure between the program members by using an innovative, but proven approach. A defaulting party will not affect other pilots in the aircraft in any way, nor can that pilot encumber the plane.
Can my SharePlus Pilot Services team fly my friends and family to desired destinations?
Yes, you can extend the use of your aircraft time to friends, family, or business partners and choose a Trade Winds Aviation qualified pilot to fly your aircraft.
How are large unscheduled maintenance costs paid for?
Pilots pay an hourly engine and maintenance reserve fee when they fly any plane in the SharePlus fleet. Scheduled maintenance services such as 50 hour and 100 hour inspections (or progressive inspections) and unscheduled repairs (i.e. gyro replacement) are paid out of the maintenance reserve fund. Most new aircraft come with warranties for the first two years, which make the maintenance operating costs very predictable. If a maintenance repair exceeds the amount of the maintenance reserve fund, the excess is billed as a quarterly special assessment and the hourly maintenance reserve rate is revised to insure an adequate reserve fund is maintained.
What if I want to fly another plane?
You will need to complete a check out in each model of aircraft that you fly, meet the pilot minimums, and be current in that type of plane. Then you simply schedule your flight and go! You only pay the low hourly reserve rate and fuel costs when you fly other aircraft in the fleet.
What if I move from the area or I want to sell my share?
There is an exit plan included in the SharePlus Program. The SharePlus Agreement includes a formula for determining the value of your share. You may sell your share yourself or we will sell if for you.
How much are SharePlus members covered for insurance?
There is a $1,000,000 insurance policy that covers the SharePlus pilots and passengers. There is no sub-limit and each pilot is included as an additional named insured.
Can I expense my flight time as a business expense?
Generally, when the aircraft is used for legitimate business use, the expenses are tax deductible. You should check with your accountant to make sure you qualify.
Can I upgrade my Shares?
The SharePlus Program has a lot of flexibility. You have access to fly all of the other aircraft in the SharePlus fleet, so you may find that upgrading to a higher performance aircraft is not necessary. However, if you would like to upgrade your primary aircraft share, which would provide you with scheduling priority weeks in the upgrade aircraft, then we will assist you in doing so. Share upgrades are done on a shares available basis.
How can SharePlus have such low hourly rates?
The aircraft hourly rates are comprised of the engine and maintenance reserve fees - pilots pay the actual cost of operating the aircraft - there are no extra markups or reserves. In fact, any excess reserves are refunded back to the aircraft members. Fuel usage is paid directly by each pilot. Aircraft are kept fueled to the tabs; the pilot radios for fuel after returning from their flight.
Does it cost more to fly other planes in the SharePlus fleet other then my primary plane?
No. You simply pay the low hourly rate for the plane that you fly and your own fuel.
How does the SharePlus scheduling system work?
Each member is assigned a "priority scheduling week", every fourth week for 1/4 shares, and every eighth week for 1/8th shares. This provides the SharePlus pilot with guaranteed availability and the ability to make long term plans. The scheduling priority for the members week stays in effect until 3 weeks prior to the start of the week. If the member has not reserved their time during their priority week by then, the space becomes available on a first come first serve basis to the other pilots. A convenient, easy to read, Scheduling Priority List is maintained on a group website for easy reference. If you want to schedule a flight (more than 3 weeks in advance) and it is not your priority week, you may contact the member (or have Trade Winds contact them for you) that has that week and trade weeks. You can trade weeks on your aircraft and also swap weeks on other SharePlus aircraft. Scheduling can be done on-line through our 24-hour scheduling system, or via telephone with the Trade Winds Aviation dispatchers.
What is a principal share vs. secondary share?
The usage of other aircraft in the SharePlus program works because of an interchange agreement between all the pilots. You are financially responsible for the expenses of your primary plane, and through the interchange agreement (a reciprocal usage agreement) are able to fly the other aircraft in the fleet.
When are the SharePlus aircraft replaced?
The aircraft are purchased new and are sold after six (6) years.
Can I finance the costs of the program?
SharePlus has a built in finance program.
Can I take the plane overnight and on extended trips?
Yes. There is no limit on the number of overnight or extended trips you may take. In fact, SharePlus pilots are encouraged to enjoy their aircraft by taking cross country flights - a terrific way to experience the benefits of flying! SharePlus pilots have criss-crossed the country and come back to recount wonderful trips and life long memories. Blue skies!