If you don't believe that Congress was picking on the automakers about using corporate aircraft as a PR ploy, then consider the fact that many of the corporations which are receiving TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds are also operating bizjets with no restrictions such as those placed on the automakers.
Clearly the bumbled handling of the corporate jet issue by the Big 3 automakers was a PR nightmare, and to see the CEOs of these corporate giants cower under the glare of Congressional scrutiny was an embarrassment, to say the least. Those of us who have seen corporate aviation mature over the years understand that corporate flight departments are seen as a business tool, no some luxury that the ultra-rich enjoy!
These business jets are used under strict guidelines and crewed by pilots as well trained as any you will find in a commercial airliner, bar none. I remember years ago when Bill Lear first brought out the Lear Jet that the marketing went something like this:
The idea being that the use of a business jet multiplies the amount two people could accomplish by using a business jet. I remember seeing this illustrated in advertising for Lear Jets years ago, and thought it explained the use of business aircraft quite well.
The truth is there is always some abuse in the use of corporate aircraft, just like there is abuse in the use of company cars and other things. However, the larger and more formal the corporation the less likely this would be allowed and the more likely corporate aircraft were used strictly for business purposes.
To single out the auto makers in such a way was, in my opinion, a terrible thing to do. As I said in an earlier post the U.S. government owns over 1,400 aircraft and doesn't even know where some of them are! Worse yet those spineless CEOs simply took it and did not even respond. How are we to respect them if they don't respect themselves, and if they are so weak kneed they can't even defend their own business practices? What a sad day for corporate America, let alone corporate aviation.
Thank God for the NBAA and their leaders who are on the attack to reeducate the public about the usefulness and practicality of business aviation. Way to go NBAA!! Bravo!
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
The True and Beautiful—The Sky
Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two months together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost Divine in its infinity.