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What Is Fractional Aircraft Ownership?

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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2014
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Owning an aircraft can be the goal of many pilots. It is an expensive endeavor, however, and without adequate cash or access to financing, owning even a single-engine airplane can become impossible. Fractional aircraft ownership makes the possibility of having control over transportation more realistic. Participants do not gain complete control over a plane, and might not even fly or ride as passengers on the exact same plane with every trip. Fractional aircraft ownership, however, entitles individuals or businesses access to a particular type of plane on a coordinated schedule with other participants.

Many people spend months or even years training to earn a pilot's license. The preparation requires logging flight hours, studying lessons, and proving the command of certain techniques and procedures. It can be a costly endeavor, as well, and hopes of eventually using the freedom with a new plane could easily become dashed. Luckily, there are organized programs that facilitate fractional aircraft ownership and make the road to flying or using one's own plane easier.

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Not just pilots participate in fractional aircraft ownership. Some major organizations with their own planes extend ownership privileges to wealthy individuals or corporations. For a large fee, individuals could become entitled to a certain number of hours on large jets over a period of several years. The participants may need to pay membership fees in addition to extra costs during the time that the plane is used, but it allows for temporary and fractional aircraft ownership that provides the convenience and flexibility often missing from using the public airlines.

Fractional aircraft ownership could also involve smaller, single-engine planes, which have propeller and can seat approximately four individuals. The planes are likely to be kept and maintained at one or a series of airports by the operator of some fractional ownership program. Typically, the members of a particular fractional aircraft ownership program obtain rights to the same kind of plane.

Members who are not pilots might be able to enroll in training programs with the operator of fractional-aircraft ownership operators and work towards the certification. Those who are certified to fly traditional planes could also become interested in different types of planes provided by shared-ownership programs. Some program sponsors include planes that can land on the water in their offering and have the capability to advance pilot training so that more participants can fly these aircraft.

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