Seeking RV-12 Partners

I am currently looking for a few partners to go in together on an RV-12.

The way I can see this working is four partners sharing ownership of an RV-12, either completed or mostly built.

  • Why an RV-12?  It’s an LSA, and currently the best option I can find.  It can be operated as an E-LSA, meaning the flexibility of owner maintenance and inspections.  It’s reasonably fast; reasonably inexpensive; Rotax powered; burns Mogas.   Would I consider something else?  Sure, if it’s reasonably fast, affordable, etc.  Probably not a Champ.
  • Why four partners?  According to the insurance broker I talked to (Shawna at nation Air), this keeps the insurance simple and inexpensive.  With 4 pilots it’s an airplane with 4 pilots.  With 5 pilots it’s considered a club and insured differently.  With four partners, I think scheduling conflicts cold be kept to a minimum.  Would I consider fewer or more partners?  Sure, it depends on how the numbers work out.
  • Why not build?  I have no problem with building.  But, there are nearly-complete RV-12s out there right now for not much more than, or even slightly less than, the cost of the kits.  If we can fly in a few months instead of a year or two, so much the better.  There are also built, flying, low-time RV-12s available for a very small premium over the cost of an unbuilt kit.  Would I consider building instead?  Sure, we’d just have to work out the details.
  • Do you have a particular plane in mind?  I have a few potential candidates.  One is a factory built 12, complete with ALL options available from Van’s, with major assembly work complete.  It includes the engine and prop.  Another is amateur built, and is complete from teh firewall back – we’d buy the engine and prop from Van’s.  Either would cost about wht the kits cost, give or take a couple thousand.  I also see a couple of low-time flying RV-12s for sale in the upper 70s to low 80s.  Of course all of these are subject to prior sale; I don’t want to rush into this deal, but if I can find partners soon it would be good.
  • How would this work?  I can see a couple of different possibilities.  One would be a simple partnership, co-owning the plane.  Another would be a club, with the club owning the lane and four members of the club.  The structure would be something we’d need to discuss and agree on; I don’t have a strong preference.  My only preference would be an arrangement that protects everyone and makes it easy and hassle-free to enjoy flying.
  • Where would the plane be kept?  I would strongly prefer Millard.  I would not rule out Eppley, if that worked out better for a majority of partners.  Blair, Wahoo, etc are simply too far for me.
  • What would it cost?  That’s the big question, isn’t it?  My calculations indicate we could make it work for an initial investment of $20K per person – that’s buying the plane, shipping it to Omaha, and even getting it painted after final assembly and phase 1 flight testing.  Monthly fixed expenses would run around $80-90 per partner for the hangar and insurance.  Flying time would run between $30-$35 per hour wet, if you include a fairly generous engine reserve — enough to have a top-notch major overhaul done by a nationally known shop at TBO.  That’s some pretty cheap flying.
  • When are you looking to do this?  Soon.  Now. Last week.  Next week.  As soon as I can find a couple more pilots interested in joining the partnership.
  • What kind of flying do you plan to do?  Like most recreational flyers, mostly shorter flights from an hour or so to several hours; $100 hamburgers, fly-ins, day trips to visit friends and relatives, that kind of thing.  The longest trip I would anticipate would be 5 days to a week, possibly once a year.