Organ Runs

An ambulance with a surgical team shows up and you load them on the plane. Could be 5am or 5pm, 2pm or 2am. Along with their medical gear and scalpel cases, it looks like they stopped at a sporting goods store and picked up an Igloo cooler - either empty or with ice (or fluids, we never looked inside). You land in New York or Miami, San Angelo or El Paso and another ambulance whisks them away. You prayed they were harvesting a heart because that's the first organ that comes out and the first team to fly home - less wait time (2-4 hours) in sometimes-god-awful places. Lungs next, then liver, kidneys, pancreas (you can wait 6-7 hours for these). You can get a idea of your wait by listening to the team talk about when they are going to "cross-clamp" - brutally speaking - this is the time they shut the living body down. You have to hustle, especially with the heart, because there's only so much time an organ can stay out of a body (they are slowly implementing pump/coolers to keep organs, ummm, fresh longer). You keep your fingers crossed for no weather or mechanical issues that could jeopardize the organ - it happened to me once with a child's heart, though they were able to salvage the valves and arteries. A good call-out was a "box run": A surgical team in another city was going to pull and package the organ and all you had to do is fly empty (in casual clothes) to retrieve it (see liver photo). Sadly, someone has to pass, but 7, or more, others can benefit and live on.

— Editor

The Tire's a Little Low, So What?

A while back I overnighted in Boston (not a bad place for a layover). We had a 6am show, and as I was walking to the plane in the pre-sunrise light, I noticed something seemed off. I performed my walk-around and came back to the #4 tire. It seemed low (see photo - can you even tell it's low?? It's the one on the left). It's not as easy as whipping out a tire gage so I called a mechanic over to take a reading. It was well below minimums. The tolerances on  jet tires are tight - the pressure range on a Lear 60 main tire is 209-219psi. If pressure drops below 180psi on one tire you have to replace BOTH tires on that side. Why is this critical? Tires are prone to blow out at high speed if they're under inflated - causing catastrophic consequences. Let me tell you, changing tires ain't easy - or cheap. It's at least a 24 hour process where a mechanic "builds" up a tire and waits to test the pressure the next day. The Boston case turned out to be a fiasco because when the maintenance team went to jack up the plane to put on the new tires, the nose wheel jack jumped its cradle and dented the plane (see photo). What's a dent? Well, the Bombardier engineers said if the dent was less than 100 mils, we'd be OK. Of course it was 150 mils! After more days in Boston (now, not a bad place to be broken down), we had to ferry the plane to a Bombardier repair facility for manufacturer's repairs. Three months, yes, three months later I airlined up to pick up the repaired plane.

— Editor

A STAR is Born

Gee, can you tell where I flew today? STARS (Standard Terminal Arrival Routes) are created to allow for an orderly traffic flow pattern into busy terminal areas. They also produce efficient descent paths, intended to minimize fuel burns (nice to see that the FAA has this vision).  Waypoint names on STARS often reflect the culture, history or geographic nature of the destination.  And, in an ironic twist, I indeed flew a major star into Vegas on this trip. Sorry, I can't say who. OK, a major music star, she was very sweet and thank'd me for avoiding the "big bumps", that's all I'll say....

— Editor

Learjet Family Rivalry

These two cousins are titans of the bizav world, and, both are hugely popular to own or charter.

The Lear 60 is the largest production Learjet ever made. A larger model 85 made it to prototype, but that line was squashed in the Great Recession. The newer 60XR version is the exact same plane as the classic 60, with upgraded avionics, reconfigured interior and a beefier braking system (which many classic 60s have been upgraded to include).

There have been over 600 Lear 45s made (versus just under 400 of the 60) and a 45XR version provides an engine modification that gives higher takeoff weights, faster cruise and better rate of climb. Today, the Lear 75 is basically the same as the 45 with modernized engines and enhanced winglets (and therefore better performance and efficiency) and different avionics. A model 40 and 70 were made, each of which were simply smaller versions of the 45 and 75, respectively.

Both climb fast to altitude (better to get away fast from the heat, the bumps and other planes) and are respectably fast. The Lear 45 has 8 seats standard and the Lear 60 has 7, though each can accommodate one more passenger on the cushioned and belted potty. I've personally flown the 60 with 8 businessmen –they put the smallest on the on the potty (the flight was less about an hour so no one needed to, shall I say, unseat him). I helped a friend charter a flight to a concert for 9 folks on the 45 with (the smallest) one passenger in the lav (again, less than an hour flight, and, lots of beer to sooth any ill feelings). Oddly, the smaller-interior 45 has a bit more baggage room. Simply put, the 60 is much roomier – with a 5’7” cabin height v. 4’11” on the 45. The 45 seats are slender, the 60’s are more comfortable. The 60 has longer legs and can run about 2,300+/- statute miles, or, about 400 miles further than its smaller cousin. With a little digging, you can sometimes find a 60 for nearly the same charter cost of a 45.

Here is an amazing video of a Lear 60XR being built that appeared onNatGeo’s Megafactories

WATCH THE VIDEO

—Editor

Charter Pricing to College Football Games

Grab your college buddies and split the cost, or, take the wife and kids and take off.  Make it a quick up and back, or, spend the weekend. Start your tailgating when you board!

 

UT Longhorns – Houston or Dallas to Austin, or, SMU Mustangs - Houston to Dallas

DAY TRIP

  • Small Jet/up to 6 passengers/medium luggage $8,500
  • Midsize Jet/up to 8 passengers/heavy luggage $10,000
  • Heavy Jet/up to 12 passengers/heavy luggage $15,000

OVERNIGHT

  • Small Jet/up to 6 passengers/medium luggage $11,000
  • Midsize Jet/up to 8 passengers/heavy luggage $14,000
  • Heavy Jet/up to 12 passengers/heavy luggage $21,000

Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Houston or Dallas to South Bend

DAY TRIP

  • Small Jet/up to 6 passengers/medium luggage $18,000
  • Midsize Jet/up to 8 passengers/heavy luggage $21,000
  • Heavy Jet/up to 12 passengers/heavy luggage $34,000

OVERNIGHT

  • Small Jet/up to 6 passengers/medium luggage $22,000
  • Midsize Jet/up to 8 passengers/heavy luggage $26,000
  • Heavy Jet/up to 12 passengers/heavy luggage $39,000

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.

Charter Pricing to Cabo

If our story on the amazing Hotel San Cristobal inspired you, grab your family, or, some couples, and take off.  

From Houston or Dallas, here are some sample costs:

 
  • Small Jet/up to 6 passengers/medium luggage $22,000
  • Midsize Jet/up to 8 passengers/heavy luggage $28,000
  • Heavy Jet/up to 12 passengers/heavy luggage $34,000

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.

The Equal-Opportunity Flight Delayer

By Chris Promecene

On a recent Friday morning my wife and I, along with our editor Jim and his wife, headed to Houston Intercontinental Airport to hop on a United flight to Newark. Our mutual friend had invited us to a dinner party that evening for his 50th birthday and we decided to make a weekend in Manhattan out of it. Since the big boys were doing the flying neither Jim nor I bothered to check ForeFlight before departing. Little did we know our country's president also planned to fly into the New York terminal area that day. Thanks to something pilots know as a TFR, our 10:30AM departure ended up being a 2 PM departure, putting our arrival at the dinner party on the far side of fashionably late.

The FAA's notice to pilots to stay clear.

The FAA's notice to pilots to stay clear.

A TFR (temporary flight restriction) is a geographically limited restriction to flight for a specific period of time. TFR's are often associated with major sporting events, national disasters or, as was this case, the movement by air of the president or other VIPs.

In short, the good news about TFR's is is that they are usually short-lived. The bad news is they often occur with little notice, effect major metropolitan areas and nobody (almost nobody) escapes them. So, the reality is, under the same circumstances, had we been flying private, the air traffic restriction and concomitant terminal area back up would have still grounded and delayed us. Turns out the bar at terminal C has a great cocktail with rum and pineapple juice called the delayed departure--cheers.

 

Dream a Bit: Gulfstream 650ER Interior’s Video

G650ER, beautiful inside and out.

G650ER, beautiful inside and out.

Dream big or go home, they say. Here’s is a walk-through of the G650ER’s interior, providing insight to the comforts given to the passengers.

WATCH THE VIDEO

I recently had lunch with a couple buddies who fly a G650. I asked their thoughts on its best characteristics, from a pilot’s view. Number one: speed. They say they can make it to London from Houston about an hour faster than the airlines. If fact, the last time they flew overseas, an airliner on the over-ocean frequency asked what type of plane just passed overhead and what their speed was, “G650, Mach .9”. The next best thing is the ability to fly non- stop to so many destinations. Having to stop for fuel is a time-waster, plus, picking up an additional clearance and coordinating entry onto the over-ocean tracks is a pain.

- Editor

This video first appeared on AINONLINE.com. For more, visit AINONLINE.COM

Your BBJ’s Window to the World

By Mary Grady

The SkyView Panoramic Windowthe largest window available for any passenger jetwill offer Boeing Business Jet passengers an expanded view of the world below. At 54.5 inches by 19.5 inches, the SkyView is slightly more than three times wider than a standard window and about 40 percent taller. Boeing will be able to install as many as two pairs of the windows (each directly opposite the other) in a choice of locations aft of the wing.

The SkyView Panoramic Window

The SkyView Panoramic Window

The windows are made of acrylic and produced by GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Technologies division, which has supplied all Boeing windows since 1996. Fokker treats each window’s surface with an abrasion-resistant coating so that it remains clear. Custom blinds can be installed, in case the window allows too much light into the cabin.

The SkyView will be available for the BBJ, BBJ 2, and all three versions of the BBJ Max, including the new BBJ Max 7. It can be ordered as a retrofit for the existing fleet or as an option on new aircraft. The window will be installed during the custom completion process, not during the aircraft’s production at the Boeing factory. It’s still undergoing development and certification, so pricing is not yet available. First completions are expected in 2018. (boeing.com, fokker.com)

This article first appeared on RobbReport.com. For more from Mary Grady, click here.