In November, 1983 a friend of mine approached me about buying an airplane. I wasn’t a pilot then, but I had been up a few times in a small plane. His idea was that we could buy the plane, lease it out and make some money on it. I looked over the numbers and it seemed to make sense, so we formed a partnership and bought this plane.
He was a low time pilot at the time – he had about 80 hours in an airplane and figured that he had a real good deal. Since I wasn’t a pilot, he figured he could fly it whenever he wanted, and I would help with plane expenses. I started taking flying lessons and got my private pilot license 6 months later in April, 1984.
Fast forward 1 year to March, 1985 – I had my Instrument Rating and had flown over 400 hours. He was up to a total of about 110 hours, having flown the plane for about 30 hours. It turned out to be a good deal having the plane on a lease-back. Basically, the money I made on the lease-back of the plane paid for my flying lessons.
I was working as a salesman for a company back then, and I covered a 5-state area. I would fly the plane all over my territory and the company I worked for would pay for the hours (at the lease-back rate), so I would make some money on it. It was a good deal for my company because they didn’t have to pay for hotels, car rentals, plane tickets, etc. Everybody was happy.
My partner never did get his Instrument Rating, and when we dissolved the partnership, he had about 125 hours of flight time and I had about 560 hours. It worked out very well for me.