Questions to ask before joining an airplane partnership

I’m posting this to help anyone else who might be evaluating a plane partnership and is wondering what questions they need to ask before joining the partnership.

  • Cost of the buy-in?
  • Where is maintenance handled, who is responsible for making sure the annual gets done?
  • What are the monthly fixed costs for: insurance, hangar, reserve?
  • Are those monthly fixed the same across everyone or is it different depending on who flies the plane more?
  • Monthly maintenance reserve? – is there an overhaul fund?
  • What is the hourly wet charge for flying the plane?  Is this time based on Hobbs or Tach time?
  • What, if any, software is used to track scheduling the plane, hours flown, billing, maintenance tracking?
  • Are there any limitations to how long someone can keep the plane? Over the weekend, a week somewhere else?
  • Who handles the paperwork – sending invoices, collecting checks, paying insurance, hangar etc.
  • How do they handle IFR/VOR checks every 30 days?
  • Why did past partners leave the partnership?
  • How would they handle an unexpected big expense, is there currently a reserve or would it be an assessment?
  • Do they have a contract they use or an existing agreement in place?
  • What’s the process of selling your share back, what’s the process for anyone else to sell their share?
  • What’s the process for bringing additional people into the plane?
  • Who pays the deductible if there is an incident?
  • Who is authorized to fly the plane?
  • How are upgrades evaluated and decided upon? Such as the 2020 ADSB requirement?
  • How are squawks or minor items reported and handled?
  • What documentation is provided to show your shares or ownership in the plane?
  • How is fuel handled. Do you fill it up after each flight? Is there a credit card for the plane, or do you pay out of pocket and get reimbursed?