For many years the inside back cover of Business & Commercial Aviation carried an article written by Torch Lewis, a stalwart aviation enthusiast and vocal proponent of business aviation. It was from his writings that I picked up the use of the word "Hersch" which was kind of a trademark of his.
Well, Torch is probably rolling over in his grave today. The attack on business aviation and the lack of company CEOs standing up for their use of business aircraft leaves me wondering what's wrong with them. How can they invest millions of dollars in these business tools and are willing to dump them at the mere mention of some government lackey that some fool in Congress thinks its a "bad idea" to own business aircraft.
Take Citigroup for example. They had ordered a Falcon 7X to replace two aging Falcon 50s and it would be a more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft than the ones it was replacing. Here is a short video of what one of these marvelous aircraft look like:
In an interesting article in Aviation Week called "Without Apology" William Garvey notes that "It seemed that even as Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) and his House colleagues railed against the profligate, elitist intercity travel preferences of Mssrs. Waggoner, Mulally and Nardelli, the target of their righteous outrage expanded. By the end of that disastrous Day on the Hill, all business jets were clouded with suspicion. In one day, it became the symbol of executive selfishness and remove, and an icon of the global economic travail caused by the people who rode in them."
Who will stand up and make the case for general aviation and the use of business aircraft? Many from the alphabet aviation organizations are speaking up, but we need a major spokesman who can command the attention of Congress.
Where are you Hersch?
When asked why he was referred to as 'Ace':
Because during World War Two I was responsible for the destruction of six aircraft, fortunately three were enemy.
— Captain Ray Lancaster, USAAF.