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I have been looking at letsfly.org for a possible path for aircraft
ownership. They are claiming over 400 co-ops around the country
with a variety of aircraft owned for a very low cost. There have
been several articles written about them like:
Do you know of anybody with knowledge of this organization and their
experiences with it?
-- Phil Kimmel, October 21, 2009
400 co-ops sounds great, as long as the average co-op does not need an airplane. There are only 1688 light sport aircraft registered in the U.S. (see http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2009/10/16/light-sport- aircraft-celebrate-their-fifth-birthday/ ). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CZAW_SportCruiser says that 101 of those are SportCruisers, including home-builts.
-- Philip Greenspun, October 31, 2009
The idea of getting into a plane for $2,900 and $30 per hour sounds good. They do let you know up front that if any of your partners default you�ll be expected to take over the loan so a $100,000 obligation could balloon to $400,000. Don�t see info disclosing the interest rate or length of term and that raises huge credibility issues. Wonder who makes the money on the loan? It would be interesting to compare the overall cost of owning a Letsfly.org plane to the costs of one of those flight clubs that�s been around for 50 years as you can find in LA that charges you about $3,000 for an equity membership that you can sell when leaving the club, about $80 a month in dues and $70 per hour wet for a C-172 or $150 per hour wet for a C-210.
On another issue, many of the LetsFly.org planes are LSA. In Hawaii I�m not aware of anyone who has one so I haven�t had a chance to fly one yet. But curious what people think. They look too close to an ultra light for me to make be anxious to get in one. For those over six feet and 200 pounds is there enough useful load and head room? Some aircraft manufacturers including Diamond are not interested in producing an LSA because the max weight limitation creates an artificial barrier that inhibits their ability to build a plane to their standards, too many compromises would have to made.
-- Richard Miles, October 21, 2009