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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Aquila Info evening

Last Thursday, KLM Aeroclub organised an Information evening on the Aquila A210 share construction they have in mind. I visited the evening, because, although I have not yet flown in this aircraft, it is slowly gaining my interest.

Storm and rain. An accident on the A1 highway cause traffic to back up all the way around Amsterdam. I ended up getting to Lelystad some 15 minutes late, which is just not me... But anyway, the beginning of the evening was an informal gathering. Drinking coffee, watching airpplanes, telling strong stories. Nice! This is also a reason for me to favour KLM Aeroclub :)

Emile and Melvin gave a presentation on the way things were planned to go from here. There is gooing to be a corporation with 40 to 50 people. It's a corporation for fiscal and legel reasons that I, as a true techie, am not going to try to explain here. But the main thing is that there are no taxes on the purchase price of the airplane. That differs some €30.000,= right there.
The corporation will be dismantled if less than 40 people are interested, and the maximum is set to 50.So far, more than 40 people have indicted to be interested, but that does not mean that they will all end up participating.
 The initial fee is roughly the purchase price, divided by the number of participants. So that will be €3200 to €4000,=, depending on the number of people that want to join. For that money, one gets a couple of things: a lower hourly rate than the non-participating KLM Aeroclub members, a yearly depreciation reimbursement, and a part of the difference in rate between participating and non-participating members. The non-participating members will pay €20,= per hour more than the participating members. This money gets saved up, and will be divided over the participants once a year (dividend).
The hourly rate comes to €105,= per hour of actual flight (some €95,= per block hour for a one hour local).
The share is thought to be a 10-year term, after which a residual value of 33% is assumed. I think this is very conservative, but that is only a plus in my book. After those 10 years, the plane will be sold, the revenues divided amongst the participants, and the corporation dismantled. That is, unless the corporation votes to do otherwise at that time. In the mean time, all shareholders will have received a linear depreciation fee (2/3 of the initial fee),and dividend from the overvalue of the hours flown by non-participants. That is estimated to be 1/3 of the initial fee, so at the end, all share holders will have their share of the selling price as "interest".
The exact numbers are still subject to change, depending on the exact number of participants. Also, the number of hours flown, the ratio of the hours by participants to non-participants (non-participants need to be KLM Aeroclub members to fly this plane), and fuel price will have a certain influence on the hourly rate. This will be evaluated periodically (quarterly, or at least yearly), and if needed, the hourly rate will be modified. This is done this way to prevent too large changes in rates. Fuel is paid for by KLM Aeroclub, and billed to the corporation, to keep KLM Aeroclub administrtion clear, and to have the club rates available for the corporation as well. In the mean time, the participants get to fly at a reduced rate in a brand new, spacious 2-seater with a Garmin 500 glass cockpit.

True, the plane itself, as well as flying her is about 30 to 50 % more expensive than an AT-3, or DA-20 in a shared ownership construction, but it simply is more airplane to fly. I sat in her again, this evening, and what draws attention is the quality of the finish, the spacious design, for the pilot as well as  the co-pilot. Also, this one hat the biggest, best accessible baggage area of the three. And of cuase, the glass cockpit is very appealing, especially the G500 variant.

My Aquila flight has been postponed until next Wednesday, but I think I already made up my mind. It's hard to imagine that actually flying the plane will make me less enthusiastic abut her. Add to that the club life, with it's highly motivated kindred spirits, and the picture is full drawn, isn't it? Now all that remains is saving more money, eh? ;)


  1. You might be interested to know of the Aquila that I fly as part of aircraftgrouping in the UK. See
    It's a good aircraft to fly, and although I'm still learning, I'm looking forward to flying it for a bit when I've got my licence.

    1. Interesting concept, Chris, this no-equity flying. The price difference does not allow me to move to the UK, though ;) But the concept is certainly worth considering, should the share construction fail to bear fruit.