Takeaways From The Business Aircraft Convention

I was hoping that looking through all of the pictures I took at the 2017 NBAA (National Business Aircraft Association) convention, in Vegas, would remind me of what I thought were the most important takeaways.

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Lights Out As GE Shuts Its Flight Department in Favor of Charter

It’s the twilight for General Electric’s flight department. After operating its own aircraft for nearly 75 years, GE has shuttered operations of its three Bombardier Challenger 605s in favor of flying charter. Equally efficient, and, at a fraction of the cost of operating planes, more companies are turning to charter. 

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I Have a Thing for Falcons

I’ve been an airplane geek since I was in 6 th grade at Lovett Elementary School, reading books on WWII fighter planes in the library. I grew up in aviation at Houston Hobby airport in the early 80’s. At the time, there were only a few series of private jets – Jetstars, Sabres, Lears, Gulfstreams and Falcons seemed to rule. I loved the nimble-looking, French-built Falcon 10 and it’s bigger sister the 20. In 1980 things changed. The Falcon 50 came out and I was in love (26 years later, I finally flew on a 50 from Loreto Bay, Mexico to DFW – I was beside myself). This was as beautiful as the prior Falcons but had three engines – causing quite a roar in the industry. It’s power allowed it to take off from high and hot airports (a challenge that I’ll get into in another article) and had the safety factor of the third engine (jet engines tend not to quite these days, but early on it was comforting to know you had one extra, and with the 50, now, two engines to take over if one crapped out). The 50 typically sat nine, and then the stretch model of the 900 came out six years later, having 12 spots for tushies and several hundred more miles of range. In 1995 the Falcon 2000 was birthed, a humble 10 seater with less than 3,000 mile range. This was the first private jet I flew on – a nice long weekend trip to NY, and it took my breath away. A beautiful airplane, even though it lacked the awe of the tri-jet. In 2007 the large cabin 7x shattered distance records of prior Falcons – 5,490 miles – think NY to the Middle East. The 50, 900 and 2000 could travel 3,220, 4,800 and 3,970 miles, respectively. Check out this great video of a 7X performing at the Reno Air Races – I wasn't shooting the video, but I was there, watching.



Charter Pricing to Aspen

If our story on Aspen inspired you (Jun 23), grab your family, or, some couples, and take off.

From Houston or Dallas and back, here are some sample costs:

  • Midsize Jet/up to 8 passengers/medium luggage $26,000
  • Large Jet/up to 9 passengers/heavy luggage $42,000
  • Heavy Jet/up to 12 passengers/heavy luggage $53,000

The pricing shown is simply a primer and do not include taxes. They are very real numbers, however, there are many factors that affect pricing, namely, actual passenger count, amount and size of luggage and the number of days at the destination. Final pricing will include taxes and any extra fees that may apply, for example, special landing or hanger fees, extra flight time due to air traffic or weather delays, de-icing, catering or special requests.

We’re Texas-based, so it’s easy to give sample pricing from Houston or Dallas. If you live in a different city, reach out to us and we can provide pricing from your hometown.

Santa Barbara in the Eyes of a Wine Loving DJ

By Steffi Burns

Nestled in between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara is much like our very own American riviera — with its red-tiled roofs and Spanish architecture, aromas of salty air, rows of tall palm trees, and cool breezes that flow from the mountains.

My home away from home is San Ysidro Ranch, the luxurious, idyllic resort located in the Montecito foothills only two miles from the ocean. The ranch is home to 40 cottages that make guests feel like they have a private residence in the picturesque neighborhood of Montecito, an enclave of Santa Barbara.

Each cottage is decorated with one-of-a-kind antiques, offers Bulgari bath products, and overflows with history. After all, Jackie O and John F. Kennedy honeymooned here.

The driveway off San Ysidro Road is flanked with rows of lavender and olive trees, a popular backdrop for engagement and bridal photos. Guest reception is located in the Hacienda, a freestanding cottage covered in Instagram-worthy bougainvillea. Guests are offered fresh baked cookies and refreshing lemonade from the property’s lemon trees. The gracious bellmen lead the way in a golf cart to your individual hideaway — a personal oasis, branded with your last name.

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California Flying

Front window seat in San Diego

Front window seat in San Diego

I like to say that I'm half Californian since my grandmother and uncle lived in Santa Monica, my sister is in San Diego and I have countless cousins up and down the coast. I've been very happy flying up and down the coast, a lot, lately. It was a thrill to fly into San Diego for the first time - having a front window seat was so much cooler than sitting in the back. Ate lunch on the harbor then flew to Orange County and ended up in San Francisco for the night. The oil guy we were flying was able to knock out three meetings in three cities in one day.

— Editor

Waypoints on the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) into SFO. Shoutout to my surfing buddies

Waypoints on the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) into SFO. Shoutout to my surfing buddies