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