How to save £10k… and fly more!

A pilot flying with Wingly, the flight-sharing website, has saved more than £10,000 as well as significantly increasing his experience and qualifications.

Paul Buckley, from Guildford, Surrey, was one of the early adopters of Wingly, signing up two years ago.

At first he was flying single-engine aircraft but now Paul not only flies a Piper Seneca twin, with the appropriate multi-engine rating, but has also gained his Instrument Rating, flying more than 100 hours last year.

“I was one of the first to sign up in the UK,” said Paul. “Honestly, it was just something new at the time and I didn’t really know much about it.

“Since then I have come to realise it is a really great way to do a lot more flying which is what I love to do. Aviation is an expensive hobby but by sharing costs I can do a lot more flying than I otherwise would.

“It was great to take a family of four to watch the Grand National earlier this year. Also a family of five to the beach in Alderney over the summer which is when I reached my £10k milestone.

“Another highlight was being invited to lunch at my passengers’ home in Perranporth as I had brought them all together for a family celebration. Their house was in an amazing location overlooking the beach!

“I have focussed more or less exclusively on return day trips which are very popular with those celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or those just wanting a different, more adventurous day out.

“From my base in southern England, anywhere in France or the Channel Islands are very popular, also out west like Cornwall which otherwise takes a very long time to get to by road.”

Wingly flights
Some of Paul’s Wingly flights

What advice would Paul give to pilots that have just signed up to the platform?

“Take it one step at a time,” said Paul. “Maybe start with a sightseeing flight around the local area.

“Then move up to short cross-countries, but always go there first yourself so you know what to expect before taking passengers. Only when you are really comfortable with that should you step up to longer distances and especially foreign travel.

“Always make sure you are comfortable doing it on your own before adding the additional complexity of Wingly passengers.”

Wingly

Comments

  1. Should not be allowed. Wingly flights are not flights that would be undertaken by the PPL normally but are actually commercial flights in which the pilot makes a ‘contribution’. How much is not known. Meanwhile legitimate commercial air taxis operating to a far higher safety standard loose business – totally wrong development. Unsafe and unregulated.

  2. [To P. Smith above] You’re clearly misinformed, having done Wingleys myself it is very clear what the contribution is, its an EQUAL SHARE of the cost. The cost sharing passengers who use Wingleys are not the target demographic of an air taxi company. Moreover you keep saying its unregulated but there is a full guidance and regulation provided by the CAA. I have 2 instances where passengers enjoyed it so much they signed up for lessons at my club. My club is happy with it as I have been flying more (renting the club aircraft more) and staying current. I cant understand how you can be so against regulation that is helping promote GA when if you look around were losing another airfield each month.

    1. Mr Jones, sorry sir it is you that is misinformed. The regulations state that the pilot must only make a contribution not an equal share which was previous cost sharing regulations. If you look at the current CAA guidance it states direct costs should be shared (but admits the word evenly). It then goes on to state the pilot must make a contribution (but again admits equal or percentage). Thus direct cost of flight say £310 with 4 persons including pilot. Pilot pays 10, each pax 100 (or more who regulates?!?) But then see the adverts on Wingly where pilots are offering flights to Channel Islands for example and quoting the cost. How can they do that if number of pax and flight duration is not known? More importantly the flights are clearly made to look like Air Taxi days out. Why am I so against? Because I worked 2 jobs to get my CPL/IR with ATPLs passed to operate now as a CPL in this area and I clearly see what is actually happening. A ‘contribution’ = 1 pound and how is that even checked? And by whom? No sorry the idea is good but the wording is far too vague and crucially the ability to police non existent – until the aircraft crashes on a cold IMC night in February……

  3. Mr Jones, please sight para 14 of CAP1590 where the UK CAA specifically state the (percentage)contribution by the pilot is not specified.
    Then please consider this irony. A PPL with 50 hours can rent an aircraft, advertise a flight on Wingly to Channel Islands for 3 pax, pay a nominal contribution and that is then ‘legal’. And yet your flying school cannot use one of its highly trained CPLs to do the same flight (where your school pays the CPL), because you do not hold an AOC and all the extra safety elements that go towards ensuring a safer flight are not in place.

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