Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Private Jets for Dogs? Just ask Vince

Vince Neil had a problem. He needed to shuttle his dogs between his and his estranged wife's house (San Francisco and Vegas). The problem was that his wife refused (smartly) to kennel the dogs and ship them in the cargo hold of an airliner! She'd probably heard of all the pets that die in transit, and the terrifying conditions pets are forced to endure there. So Vince had been chartering jets to move the pooches back and forth. Eventually Vince realized that with all the money he was spending on charter he should pony up and buy a jet. So he did. A jet. For his dogs. According to Vince,

I bought an airplane for the dogs because I have a home in San Francisco and Las Vegas and my (estranged) wife won’t put them on the crate so I bought a jet to get my dogs back and forth. I would have to charter planes for the dogs all the time and it was getting so expensive that I realized it was cheaper to buy a plane than to keep chartering it.

Oh to have more money than good sense...


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Video of Sikorsky X2 in Action

Sorry for the lack of updates. Work has been crazy and I haven't had much spare time! Here's a great video of the X2 from my last post in action. This thing is the coolest aircraft I've seen in a long, long time. So futuristic!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

U.S. Military Developing New Concept Helicopter

Joint Multi Role
Photo courtesy Sikorsky
Aviation Week has a great post about a new Sikorsky design that the U.S. military is hoping to use to replace their current fleet of helicopters. There are plans in the works for scaled up models to replace the Chinook and smaller models to replace the Kiowa.
From the article:
The US Army is kicking off a program to demonstrate technology for a family of rotorcraft that could eventually replace its entire fleet of helicopters - attack, reconnaissance, utility and cargo - as well as Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force helos.
Officials from the Army's Aviation and Missile Research and Development Engineering Center are briefing industry on the "approved and funded" plans here at the International Powered Lift Conference in Philadelphia.
Joint Multi Role -- a JSF With Rotors
Posted by Graham Warwick at 10/5/2010
Read more here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gulfstream Overruns Teterboro Runway

Photo courtesy

A Gulfstream G-IV SP went off the end of the runway in Teterboro, NJ at about 1:45 PM on Friday. No one was injured and the aircraft was stopped by the Engineered Materials Arrestior System, or EMAS—a system of aerated concrete blocks that dissipates the energy of the aircraft by breaking up. Thankfully no one was injured, and the aircraft appears to have very little damage. I can't wait to see the preliminary incident report from the NTSB to see what the pilots had to say! The aircraft is registered on Meridian Air Charter's operating certificate, but it is unclear whether the flight was a charter flight or not.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Private Jet Used to Run Drugs

Private Gulfstream used to run drugs
Chartered Gulfstream used to run drugs. Via mizozo

Lisette Lee, a 28-year-old who claims to be an heir to the Samsung fortune, used a private jet to ferry large amounts of marijuana into the Columbus, OH area, federal investigators said.

Authorities say she made numerous trips to the Port Columbus International Airport—most recently with 500 pounds of pot for distribution in Ohio and surrounding areas. Lee was charged with conspiracy and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. Her bodyguard and two personal assistants were also arrested, but were later released pending possible indictments.

The most interesting part of this story is the allegation that authorities were tipped off that she was travelling with a "suspicious amount" of luggage. Anyone who's worked at an FBO, for a charter operator, or has dealt with private travel can tell you that the 13 suitcases Lee was bringing is far from suspicious. In fact, some people travel with twice that! Paris Hilton tweeted pictures of her with all her luggage (although who KNOWS what was in those Louis trunks!)

Paris Hilton with Louis luggage
Via Shopping Blog

Sounds to me like someone knew what was going on and wanted to ruin her sweet deal. The profits from moving 500 pounds of MJ from California (where it would be cheap from Mexico) to Ohio (where it's in MUCH shorter supply and WAY more expensive) more than cover the twenty or thirty thousand for the charter!

How many group-buying sites can there be???

screencap credit limelight media

I know this isn't aviation related but I really have to say, there are getting to be too many of these silly group-buying sites. Groupon rules, i've gotten some sweet stuff and cool adventures out of it (whitewater kayaking, driving a ferarri, winery tours) and living social and gilt city have some cool stuff sometimes too, but now there's another one called weforia (by the yellowbook company). I don't want to sift through that many emails to find cool stuff to do. I like the simplicity and streamlined aspects of one deal per day (why I like

Anyways, I'm off my soapbox. I promise the next post will be aviation haha.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pingree Cleared of Ethics Questions over Private Jet Trip

Rep. Chellie Pingree
Photo via The Portland Press Herald

There was a big to-do about U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) flying aboard a Dassault Falcon 2000EX owned by her fiancé Donald Sussman. In the past, Pingree has been critical of legislators using private aircraft including testifying before congress saying:

Most Americans never have and never will fly on a chartered jet, much less a fancy corporate jet complete with wet bar and leather couches. So when members of Congress constantly fly around on corporate jets and pay only the cost of a commercial ticket, it contributes to the corrosive public perception that members of Congress are more like the fat cats of Wall Street than they are like the rest of us.

Rep. Pingree was correct about the perception, but sadly the perception isn’t the reality. Lawmakers that fly on chartered jets, especially on their own dime, are often doing so because that’s the only way they can make their busy schedules work! NBAA’s No Plane No Gain campaign illustrates the time savings associated with private jet travel brilliantly.

The problem comes when those lawmakers are flying for deeply discounted prices thanks to corporate interest. Flying with one’s fiancĂ© can hardly be considered a corporate interest, which is why I think Pingree is guilty of nothing! Unfortunately this issue will be beaten to death in the coming election season instead of the real issues that face the country.

/politics haha.
You can see the youtube video of her getting off the gorgeous Falcon here:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cirrus Jet Spotted in the Wild!

Photo credit John Kozak

A Cirrus Jet was spotted on the ramp, and later doing pattern work, at the Norwood, MA airport a few days ago. This red VLJ (very light jet) is an uncommon sight, although an air traffic controller friend of mine has worked some. He's not a fan, saying they're faster than pistons but far slower than jets, and make his life difficult!

Regardless I think it's a cool looking aircraft. I do wonder how it handles with that odd V-tail (V-35 Bonanzas kill people all the time!)

New Private Jet Terminal in St. Kitts

St. Kitts' Natural Beauty
Photo Credit Geof Givens

The Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts will be getting a new US$15 Million private jet terminal, with construction starting in February. The Kittian tourism minister, Ricky Skerritt, said,

This is a significant step forward in the transformation of St. Kitts’ tourism product. With competition for the global private jet market so intense, this project is designed to facilitate the type of arrival and departure experience that discerning travelers, including entertainment celebrities, sports stars and international investors, expect. This new private air terminal will enable St. Kitts to deliver the highest quality of personalized service to passengers on private Jets, as well as scheduled VIP arrivals, featuring our genuinely welcoming Kittitian hospitality.

Tourism, especially among the rich, has been on the rise; perhaps due in part to the country's lax requirements for obtaining citizenship (making the path to dual-citizenship easier). It will be interesting to see what the ever resourceful Caribbeans will do with their new construction project!

Via SKNVibes Business

Hybrid Helicopter Takes Flight

Eurocopter X3
AP/Eurocopter/Patrick Penna

Eurocopter just unveiled it's newest helicopter in development. Codenamed the X3, it's a hybrid of helicopter and airplane that features stubby wings in addition to the typical main rotor design. Interestingly, it doesn't need to have tail rotors, as the forces that are normally cancelled out by the tail rotor are taken care of by the propellers on the small wings. It's a very cool design that's able to get the helicopter going forward at up to 220kts (far faster than a normal helicopter). Read more at the original Yahoo story