Q: Do I have to already be a pilot to Share an aircraft? A: Short answer, yes. SMA connects like-minded pilots who are selling time in their own aircraft with pilots seeking to purchase access to a quality airplane at an affordable price. SMA is a great way to earn extra money when your aircraft would normally be on the ground, to cover the fixed expenses of aircraft ownership!
Q: Is this like Fractional Ownership? A: No! not at all. The closest description is you are renting an aircraft from a private owner. You and up to 3 others will all be listed on the insurance policy of the aircraft and will have a key and access to one specific aircraft. You will all know when each other are flying, and will work together to create an enjoyable experience for all the "Sharers." This is done quite frequently, however it is hard to meet and find the other like-minded pilots. This is where SMA comes in and creates that transparency so that Pilot can meet Pilot!
Q: As an Owner, how easy is it to Implement? A: Sharing is done all the time. The hardest part is finding other like-minded pilots! -- Not anymore. SMA is creating transparency in the General Aviation world. Once you find 2 to 3 other pilots, you simply change your insurance to a common policy called the "limited renters policy." Generally the cost is negligible depending on the experience of the other pilots. Then you put in place any terms you all would like. We can guide you with suggestions and documents that will help, but overall, it's a win-win for all involved.
Q: I’m a new pilot. Can I share an aircraft? A: Yes, new pilots can also share aircraft. The types of aircraft a new pilot can expect to fly is normally limited to simple, single engine piston aircraft like Cessna Skyhawks, Piper Cherokees, and other primary aircraft. To jump into higher-performing aircraft, pilots will have to satisfy more stringent owner and insurance prerequisites. Typically, to qualify for a Cirrus SR22, Cessna Corvallis, or other technically advanced, high performance, or multi-engine aircraft, a pilot must have logged a minimum number of hours time in type, or have a minimum number of hours total time and go through transition training. And usually, the pilot must also have an instrument rating.
Q: What types of aircraft are available on SMA? A: SMA places no limits on aircraft types listed on the site. And on SMA, you’ll often find shares available in aircraft that one would almost never see on a rental flight line. That’s one of the beauties of sharing, the potential for access to unique and unusual aircraft. However, SMA is dedicated to helping as many pilots as possible get into the left seat of the aircraft of their dreams – whether that aircraft is a Cessna 172 or 182, a Cirrus SR22, or a Robinson R44. And if you’re searching for a certain type aircraft and don’t see it on our site, let us know and we’ll contact you directly if and when one is listed.
Q: Can I share more than one airplane at once? A: Sure. It’s up to you how many and what types of aircraft you share. We only facilitate the connection between sharer and owner. If you want to share a business aircraft for regional flights to meetings, and then buy time in another airplane for leisure flights on weekends, that’s completely your prerogative.
Q: Does SMA help work out the deal between owner and sharer? A: No. SMA accepts no responsibility for the terms of any share. It’s completely up to aircraft owners to properly screen prospective share candidates for competency and if they meet insurance requirements. We provide you will some guidelines and some sharing documents, but the rest is up to you.
Q: Does SMA broker shares in aircraft? A: No, SMA only acts as a catalyst between aircraft owners who are willing to Share their aircraft, and pilots seeking to Share an aircraft.
Q: Is sharing an aircraft less expensive than renting? A: Yes. Typical share rates are 15-20% more economical than renting aircraft from your local FBO. This is primarily due to the heavy insurance required to allow "anyone" to rent a plane, and the fact that as a commercial operation, an FBO has additional maintenance requirements and costs. In addition, Sharing resembles ownership and provides for a host of other benefits over renting.
Q: How is my insurance affected if I want to share my aircraft? A: Insurance companies write policies for sharing all the time. It’s much easier than you might think, and it might not even affect your premiums. Click here to go to our section on insurance.
Q: Does SMA keep my personal information private? A: SMA does not sell, share, or otherwise distribute your personal information to any third party without your consent.