How to Rent from an Owner?


Any feedback on renting a plane from a private owner?

I fly a PA28-200R regularly from a flight school 1hr away. I can’t afford to purchase my own plane right now. I’d like something closer and faster. This is the best in my area.

I figured their has got to be some owners out there interested in sharing some of the cost. I spoke to a commercial pilot who owns a Bonanza he rarely flies. He said renting makes it “commercial” and that’s a whole can of worms.

I’m willing to pay the extra for naming on the insurance, and maybe even buying a 1-10% share to call me an “owner” for legalities. Anyone familiar with these technicalities and how I might convince a willing owner only worried about being street legal? I’ve heard of people doing it. How so?

Thanks for any help.


Here’s a good way to do your homework and find a plane you’d really like to fly. First figure out what you like. This will work for whatever aircraft you decide upon. For the sake of exampe, let’s say a Boanza. Bonanzas are great. I fly a Mooney Acclaim, but I’m checked out on a '98 B36. I really like it. On a good day figure 160 plus true. Now, google FAA registration. Once you’re in registrations, you can filter by aircraft type and state (possibly county, too, can’t remember). Find the B36 owners close to you. Check the n number in flightaware and target aircraft which don’t fly much. Now, take your list and send them a letter. You have their complete address from the FAA. You might even find an email if you do some research. Believe me, if the owner’s not flying much, they’ll be happy to hear from you. Meet up and see if there’s a good fit. These aren’t school birds, so you have to get a sense that this owner maintains his/her aircraft. if you can find a good match, though, can be a great experience. I think AOPA is working on creating an owner/partner matching site, too. Good luck…


No need to do a Google search on the registration. Going to … quiry.aspx allows you to search by state and county
The search results give the following information:
Serial Number
Name and Address
Manufacture Name and Year
Certificate Issue Date
Aircraft Weight
Type Reg

You can download the data into an Excel spreadsheet, CSV file, or print it out. The Excel and CSV options are handy because you can then sort the data.

Another option is to go to … quiry.aspx
Enter the manufacturer and model names. The results will show a summary by FAA Mfr/Mdl code. Click on the state you are interested in. The table shown will show the N Number, Serial Number, Name, and Address. The advantage of this method is that if you have an exact type in mind you can find it faster.

Tip: Download the CSV file - the Excel spreadsheet may give you an informational warning message and the spreadsheet doesn’t come out as nicely as the CSV does when opened with Excel.


Smart! I didn’t know the FAA’s registry site allowed search by type or city/state. I had previously only used it for tail # lookup. Very cool - thank you!!!

Ok so this answers the - how to find - question. How about the legalities/insurance/paperwork? As I mentioned, I know a Bonanza owner that is unwilling due to it being considered commercial at that point and more standards and money. Any suggestions here on the setup? Is it legal or … a grey area?

Thanks again!


Good job RW… I’m going to save that. Ive been doing it the hard way.

You could consult AOPA legal, but I don’t believe there are FAA legalities other than a potential additional inpection requirement. I think the Bonanza pilot is thinking he doesn’t want to have to do 100 hour inspections. I don’t think that provision would kick in, though. You’d be a partner. You definitely want to be named on the policy, though. I know that’s easy to accomplish with Avemco once you satisfy some experience threhold requirements, ie… For the Bonanza I think it was ‘must have 25 hours RG time and 5 hours dual in the insured aircraft’. Contact the owner’s agent and they’ll walk you through the process. This structure won’t be new to them.


As a prior owner of a plane, I would agree with that Bonanza owner. I would not rent out my plane if the opportunity had come up because of the ambiguity of FAA regs

I wouldn’t want to touch the answer to your question of legality with a ten foot pole. To give you insight why I wouldn’t even try to answer see … ID=0507006

Best suggestion is by NSGDC, contact AOPA legal and get the straight dope from them. That’s what you pay your membership dues for. :wink: