Premiere Aviation: A New (Flight) Level of Aircraft Rental
There comes a time in every pilot's journey when thoughts of aircraft ownership start taking
root. After years of renting tired 172's with worn out interiors and basic equipment I was definitely having thoughts. It seemed like every rental flight was preceded by a ritual debugging of the windscreen and wiping the oily fingerprints off the cowl. Sure, the plane was safe and airworthy but I was ready for a higher quality experience.
Several years and a handful of aircraft later I've made two important discoveries: owning your own airplane is awesome AND owning your own airplane is a ton of work. On the one hand, I loved the ability to maintain my plane to a standard of quality and care I was proud of. It was comforting to know how my plane was being flown and to have full authority over all maintenance decisions. I could keep my plane spotlessly clean in and out knowing that it would make for a better flying experience. I no longer had to make excuses to passengers for INOP stickers or a worn out interior.
While there are many joys of ownership there is also a trade off. I spent countless hours and a whole lot of money on the care and feeding of relatively modest aircraft. When you own, it's all on you... Work, family and other commitments compete with aircraft maintenance management, hangar upkeep, and paying for lots of expenses. All this before you get to go flying. Bottom line, I was spending a lot of time taking care of my plane.
Premiere Aviation in Laconia, NH (KLCI) is offering a different option. According to their web site they are offering, "Exclusive Aircraft Rental: Premiere Aviation is a unique, limited membership aircraft rental program. When you join Premier Aviation, you will enjoy access to high-performance, technically advanced, meticulously maintained airplanes for personal and business travel." Founder of Premiere Aviation, James "Jay" Chandler, says the model is simple: "Premiere Aviation takes care of all the ownership responsibilities so you can fly a beautiful airplane when it suits your needs." Premiere Aviation uses a 5 to 1, pilot to aircraft ratio to ensure nearly total access. Each member-pilot is required to meet a minimum standard of experience and undergo a comprehensive aircraft checkout. This ensures the plane will be flown by qualified aviators who are familiar with the systems and performance.
Jay points out that this is not a fractional ownership or partnership model. Premiere Aviation owns the aircraft and carries all of the responsibility for the maintenance, storage, and general care. Qualified Member-pilots join through a simple application process and, once accepted, pay a one-time new member fee. After that, each member-pilot pays a monthly rate based on their anticipated flying time. The monthly rate ranges from $1500 to $4350
per month and is akin to buying block time in 5, 10, or 15 hour blocks. Buying more time comes with discounts and if you use all of your time you can continue flying on a set hourly rate.
Renting vs. owning is a endless debate that I thoroughly enjoy. At first glance, Premiere Aviation's membership cost seemed high. However, when you consider the cost of used aircraft, GA insurance rates that are going up by 20% annually, and crazy fuel prices, the calculation changes. Without much number crunching I can see how joining Premiere Aviation offers a lot of value and convenience. If you would like to learn more about Premiere Aviation visit their website at www.premiereavn.com or contact them at email@example.com