Every so often, people starting a new syndicate ask about setting up the rules of engagement. When we set up the Bumble-bee Flying Club, we found two very useful sources of guidance:
1) Our bank – they gave us a guidance document for setting up a club constitution which would be acceptable to them for us to open a Club account. So head off to your local bank’s Enquiries counter and ask.
2) The PFA – they did an excellent little booklet called “Group Flying”. The booklet is now out of print but they do publish a suggested set of rules on their web site [click here]
We set up our club around these guidelines and came up with the following documents. They have been “disidentified” so you can just add your own names etc and follow our model, or you can change whatever you feel you want to change for your own circumstances.
1) The Club Rules and Constitution – [click here] PDF
2) The Syndicate Agreement - [click here] PDF
Both these documents are needed, but you should adapt them as you as a group choose – they’re your rules, after all.
Other tips we’ve found worked for us:
- Only let people into the syndicate that you feel comfortable with (you are trusting them with your aeroplane)
- We carry full hull insurance (that also reduces the chances of recriminations when somebody makes a mistake) and the syndicate covers the 3rd party insurance so we share the cost of that too.
- Keep the aircraft properly maintained; there’ll be less chance of recrimination later if something breaks. It’s a good idea to have one of the syndicate responsible for coordinating (though not necessarily doing all the maintenance)
- Keep a simple record sheet with the aeroplane where people can note flights, work done, faults found etc. That makes it easy to keep maintenance on schedule, the aircraft log book up to date, and to charge members appropriately for their flying
- We charge for flying ‘wet’ and try to leave the fuel tank full at the end of the day (less chance of condensation in the fuel). Petrol bought is discounted against receipt against the monthly flying charges
- Keep all your receipts in one place (handy for if you decide to sell the aircraft or even a share of it later)
- Set your prices high enough that you build up a contingency fund to cover planned future expenses.
- Be reasonable in applying the ‘rules’, but fair
- We find it very efficient to hold the formal AGM standing outside the hangar, in winter, and only retiring to the pub afterwards.
- Enjoy yourselves!
The small print!:
Nothing here or in any of the linked pages constitutes any form of legal or financial advice,
we are not qualified and we don’t know what we’re talking about.
If anything goes wrong it’s your fault not ours – OK?
Now go out there and enjoy your flying!