Tag Archives: net jets

Masters Week: Private Jets Congest Tarmac At Augusta Airports

IMG_0001Sunday at the Masters results in a few billion dollars of corporate Jets parked at the Augusta, Georgia airports. Many of these “corporate tools” will be owned, leased or chartered by men who play golf and earn a large income doing so. Many of them will be owned, leased or chartered by men who enjoy golf, but will became hyper-wealthy the old-fashioned way— that would of course be very lucrative entrepreneurial activity. Some of these people will be referred to as “Banksters.”
The tarmacs at Augusta’s Bush Regional Airport and Daniel field will be congested with aircraft referred to by the corporate pilots as “big iron”. Phil Mickelson, for instance, enjoys his air travel in a Gulfstream V luxury jet that can have a price tag of 40 million dollars; Tiger Woods will be leaving today in his newer model Gulfstream 550, the same one that his ex-wife Elin used to ride in. Currently Lindsey Vonn is a favored passenger. It should be noted that she is “walking-the-ropes” at Augusta National golf course amongst the teaming masses of humanity.
Back to business! These mega-million airplanes are business tools and there are at least 10 other PGA pros that either have their own airplane or engage in the “fractional jet” practice of investing in a small percentage ownership for very restricted use. The wiser choice for most of the golfers is chartering from NetJets, Marquis Jets, and many of the other jet charter operators. Eli Flint of Flight Operations, LLC stated that they have doubled their flights from 2009 and their charters to Augusta for the masters have increased by 50% since 2010. As commercial air travel continues to deteriorate, the use of private Jets will proliferate.
Forty years ago I flew Jack Nicklaus to Augusta for the Masters in a chartered Learjet. In today’s two-tiered economy, if you have to ride around in a Learjet, you are looked upon as “FBO trash.” For nearly a decade of my aviation career I flew the rich and famous and it became very clear to me that if you can afford private jet travel, you will never go to the commercial terminal. Carbon footprint be damned, I’m going to take the jet!
This blog is prepared by aviation author Ace Abbott; http://www.therogueaviator.com, http://www.deadtiredpilots.com, will take you to his books. A visit to http://webtalkradio.net/ will allow you to listen to his aviation talk show.

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PRIVATE JETS AT THE MASTERS

If it ain’t a Learjet I ain’t going!

On Sunday past, the Augusta, Georgia airports, Bush Regional airport and Daniel Field were inundated with the private jets of the rich and famous which includes several of the participant golfers in the 76th Masters Golf tournament. Even Bubba Watson, the self-proclaimed country hick from the panhandle of Florida, most likely departed on a private jet. I have nostalgic flashbacks to several early Aprils during the mid-70s when I used to fly Jack Nicklaus to the Masters in the Learjet that he chartered from my company. (For more info read The Rogue Aviator   (www.therogueaviator.com). Will Bubba Watson now be getting his personal jet? I don’t blame him if he does, because anytime one can avoid the commercial airline environment it greatly enhances quality of life (even if you go by Amtrak). I was fortunate enough to spend eight years of my career flying privately chartered and corporate jets and once you have hung around those people that we now identify as “the one-per-centers” you do not want to be exposed to the angry mob back in the “steerage-section” of the commercial jet.

The growth of the private jet travel is certainly fueled by the increased wealth of those few at the top of the food chain, and the desire to avoid TSA has brought to the private terminals (FBOs) many people who would normally pay the exorbitant first class fares on an airline, but have now decided to dig a little deeper into the trust fund to “just take the jet” (a popular phrase amongst the well-heeled). If you have several people travelling you can “take the jet” for only a few thousand dollars more than what you might spend slumming around the crowded, chaotic world of commercial air travel. As a result, there are now several private jet “airlines” that employ experienced and well-trained pilots to get you to your destination safely. A couple of these are Net Jets and Marquis Jets. If you are in South Florida you can ride on Hop-a-Jet, a fine company that was the legacy of an aviation all-star, Harvey Hop. There are some fly-by-night charter companies (such as the one that golfer Payne Stewart unwisely selected without proper vetting), so, if possible, do some vetting before you get on that chartered jet.

After having been through the “back alleys of aviation” during my 36-year aviation career I can only recommend to the professional pilot seeking a stable career with reasonable work conditions and benefits to consider a career in the world of corporate aviation. The quality of life is infinitely better than that which one experiences with most FAR 121 air carriers. I spent 3 consecutive years wandering around Augusta National golf course as my client, Jack Nicklaus made sure that his pilots had tickets to the tournament. Many people will sell their soul for one of those coveted ducats. Also, hanging around five-star hotels with all expenses paid is always preferable to that Motel 6 next to the railroad tracks for an eight hour layover—minimum rest time for airline pilots.

The small downside is the greatly increased  per-capita carbon footprint that results with the fewer people in the airplane. Let us not be concerned about the possibility of global warming devastating planet earth—let the good times roll; we’re taking the jet to St Moritz for the weekend.

This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, the author of The Rogue Aviator:in the Back Alleys of Aviation  www.therogueaviator.com).