Ride-Sharing, Aviation Style

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Although many pilots wouldn't buy a plane with fewer than four seats, the dirty little secret is that many if not most of us fly alone a lot. An Arizona ranch hand has introduced a downright neighborly concept for putting like-minded pilots together that not only helps people out, but can reduce costs and boost the fun factor. Baldy (which he comes by honestly) Ivy established PilotShareTheRide a year ago and so far hundreds of pilots have connected with one another for trips, training and rides around the patch. "It's about sharing the love of flying and if you can share expenses, then so much the better." Pilots planning a flight register it on the Web site and describe their itinerary. If someone happens to be going their way (or just wants to get up in the air), he or she e-mails the pilot in the posting and they sort out the details between themselves. Ivy stresses that he's not arranging flights (that would be Part 135 work), he's just providing a kind of pilot matchmaking service that leaves it up to the individuals to decide when and where they fly. There are about 4200 pilots signed up and, at any one time, about 500 flight postings.