Those of us pilots who live and work in Michigan have always admired the flight departments of the "Big 3", GM, Chrysler and Ford. And who amongst us can forget the flight departments of Domino's Pizza chain or the Airbus Chrysler ran between Pontiac and Germany when owned by Daimler? Ah, those were the good old days.
Now comes news that the heads of the automakers have been excoriated for flying to Washington on their private jets to plead for money while their stocks tank and the economy is close behind. On Fox News Sunday the word from one of the Democratic leaders in the House that they better come on commercial airlines when they return with their new plan.
GM says it is returning two of the five business jets it currently operates, and that it already got rid of two more back in September. Ford is exploring the idea of selling its five jets while Chrysler is "mum" on its fleet plans but the CEO of Chrysler has "offered" to work for $1 per year.
Personally I think this is a joke on the part of Congress. Many of them enjoy junkets on the private jets of their constituents along with the best health and retirement plans on the face of the planet, and these Congressional fools think they convince the public they are really being tough on the automakers by telling them to get rid of their private jets?
Where is the sacrifice those in Congress are making? They spend billions of our taxpayer dollars and when questioned about what they are spending it on tell us it is not our money so don't worry about it! What gall! While lambasting the automakers to enter the 21st century with products Congress 'thinks" the public wants no one seems to notice that even if they built such cars no one can get financing to buy one. And if you are unemployed you don't need one anyway.
Business jets are called "bizjets" for a reason - they multiply the effectiveness of a companies upper management and the flight departments I know use these aircraft as a business tool, not a luxury. And since the government created the TSA airline travel has gone from bad to worse. Can anyone out there tell me if you can make an airline trip anywhere in less than a day?
We just sent two employees from Kalamazoo, MI to Birmingham, AL via Detroit - Charlotte - Birmingham! Amazing, to get due South of Michigan to Alabama you have to go to Charlotte, NC! Who's the nut here?
Business jets are a tool, not a luxury, and should be left alone by Congress - after all, what's the last thing that Congress ever ran efficiently?
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Every time I fly and am forced to remove my shoes, I'm grateful Richard Reid is not known as the Underwear Bomber.
— Douglas Manuel, aerospace executive regards airport security. Reported in USA Today, 13 March 2003.