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Samizdata quote of the day

“Warren Buffett said that the one thing that really changes your life is the private jet.”

Bob Hersov, entrepreneur and the man behind NetJets. Actually, using a private jet need not be just for the mega rich.

19 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • a jet and a brain , and a weapon
    brainjetpon the new weadgetbrain
    thks for your blog

  • Actually, using a private jet need not be just for the mega rich.

    No, it need not. How can we correct the current situation though?:-)

  • dearieme

    I find that getting a puncture on a tyre of my bike changes my life quite noticeably. Isn’t walking SLOW?

  • non-conformist #962912

    OK, but what about us micro and nano rich? Really though, the newer generation of (relatively) affordable plastic jets are cool. Dean Kamen has one, looks like fun.

    Ohhh, just found this while trying to spell check Kamen’s name:

    Kamen owns the small North Dumpling Island off the coast of Connecticut, and has “declared” the island to be an independent state. Along with its own currency in increments of Pi, and an entire government whose positions include the “minister of ice cream.

    Kamen was denied permission to build a wind turbine on the island, so he joked that he was seceding from the United States, and he signed a non-aggression pact with his friend then-President George H. W. Bush.

    Though the secession is not legally recognized, Kamen refers to the island as the “Kingdom of North Dumpling.” The island has a lighthouse, and Kamen has invented a constitution, flag and national anthem, as well as a navy (consisting of a single amphibious vehicle) for his “kingdom”. It is said that Kamen refers to himself as “Lord Dumpling” or “Lord Dumpling II.”

    I used to live 6 miles from there, didn’t know that.

  • The only reason I would want to win the lottery is so that I could fly private jet from now on. One of the pains in the arse of having family on either side of the pond (and the country) is having to fly scheduled airplane flights. Virgin has even gotten a bit rubbish these days.

  • Bob

    Here is a trick that I learned while working as a sales demo pilot for Hawker (in the States). If you have a credible amount of money, and pretend to be in the market, the manufacturers of private jets will fly you almost anywhere on a “sales demo”.

    I flew a Mexican couple from New York to Vail Colorado, waited two days for them, then on to Mexico City. They did not buy.

    I flew a Brazilian family from Sao Paulo to St Marten. Waited three days while he gambled and then flew them back to Sao Paulo. He did not buy.

    Variations of this routine went on constantly.

    See how it works? Try it, you will enjoy it.

  • veryretired

    I’m sorry, but this idea is just pathetic.

    Holding my newborn children in my arms was a life changing experience.

    But—an airplane ride? Pffffft.

  • Midwesterner

    Well VR, I think the point of it is, would you rather have that time spent holding your newborn child and having a life changing experience, or holding your boarding pass and having a shoe changing experience?

    As someone who grew up infatuated by the O’Hare experience and has many memories of greeting and sending off friends and family to far flung places, I now detest airports, TSA, security checkpoints, concourses closed to those w/o boarding passes, etc. etc.

    As B B King would say “The Thrill is Gone.”

  • veryretired

    Airplanes are just faster grayhound busses. There’s no romance anymore—not with being a pilot or a stewardess, and certainly not with being a passenger.

    And, Mid, TSA didn’t complicate air travel—some guys with knives did that. You’re mixing cause and effect, like those “activists” who argue that too many cops in high crime areas are responsible for negative feelings about the police.

    Abolish the whole Homeland Security Dept. Leave security to the airlines and other common carriers. All fine with me.

    There is no such thing as too many ex-government employees.

  • Speaking as an ex-pilot who was taught by RAF (retired)officers who’d been through ETPS, I had to say I found the whole experience pretty damned romantic.
    Maybe we just haven’t learned to ‘share’ properly.

    Especially with ingrates.

  • Midwesterner

    No VR, it is the effect, not the cause that upsets me. It is the direct consequence of being instructed to “sit tight and let professionals handle this.” Had all the plane’s passengers been permitted like the ones on the Pennsylvania flight did, the Towers would almost certainly still stand and it is even possible that some of those planes might have landed.

    It is the effect of this “let the professionals handle everything, TSA will make you safe” attitude that upsets. Guys with knives have existed since the first caveman discovered how to make an edge. The only thing that has changed is the stakes they play for.

    We will never be able to stop the bad guys by obstructing progress and freedom. The only way is to be smarter, faster and more adaptive. Government fails all of those goals miserably.

    Leave security to the airlines and other common carriers.

    Yup. Exactly. I think we actually agree.

    PS: Traveling by bus is romantic. One of my favorite trips ever was on a bus that stopped in every crossroads between Florida and Chicago. And in the big cities, the stations always managed to be worst parts of town. Not a boring trip at all. 🙂

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Veryretired, if you read or know this blog enough, you will sense a slight tone of irony. Of course holding one’s child is rather more important.

    Nichalasbellhassen: whatever drugs you are taking, they must be strong ones.

  • “Airplanes are just faster grayhound busses.”

    I correspond with a former USAF fighter pilot who pulled two hundred fifty combat rides during the Southeast Asia War Games. When he got out, he quit flying. During my own private pilot training, I once asked him why he doesn’t fly anymore. You see, ass-deep in the excitement of my own program, I just could not understand why anyone would quit flying. He would have been a shoo-in for an airline slot, which is where lots of fast-jet drivers go when they “grow up”.

    He told me, “You should go ask Mario Andretti why he didn’t go to work for Greyhound when he retired from racing.”

  • My first taste of wealth was a flight in a propeller plane. We won a fishing trip in a sweepstakes, and were taken to a lodge near the Boundary Waters in a floatplane. A jet couldn’t have landed there.

  • I agree about liking long-distance bus travel, but I really like trains!.
    Last year I spent a couple of days in London Ontario.
    I pulled in on a Canadian ‘Via’ train and got a tenth floor hotel room with air-con and a coffee machine and sat at my window when the day was done watching the yards with the mile-long goods trains heading West to Alberta and Vancouver.
    I left on an Amtrak from Detroit heading East.
    It was a double-decker with big, leather recliners and a cafe downstairs.

  • Bob

    Ahh Billy Beck. That sound real macho there. But, as a retired USN carrier pilot I would say your fast-flying friend spoke from ignorance. However, he is not the only figher pilot who has ignorantly cited the bus driver analogy.

    I think some my most satisfying flying was involved in getting a plane load of passengers where they wanted to go, when they planned to get there, despite whatever obstacles the weather put before us. Believe it or not, that attitude is not so uncommon among ex-military pilots who later embraced airline careers.

    Admittedly, there are now a lot of extra impediments to achieving those goal. But, by fiat of the goverment I lost the chance to even try following my 60th birthday.

    BTW, I did train airline pilots for several years thereafter, and you are dead wrong to say that your friend was a shoo-in for the airlines. The transition to the airlines need not be overly difficult, but it is not assured by any means. One “salty” Flight Attendant with a good many air miles on her frame once asked me, “When is this company going to start hiring airline pilots and quit hiring f’ing fighter pilots?”

  • “Ahh Billy Beck. That sound real macho there. But, as a retired USN carrier pilot I would say your fast-flying friend spoke from ignorance.”

    Well, one thing of which he was certainly not “ignorant” was his own values. After the war, he horsed Phantoms around in peacetime and actually enjoyed a lot of that, but he was essentially spoiled after his F-105 tour in ’65-’66.

    I think you might understand me.

    And he wouldn’t have been a shoo-in just because he came out of fighters. Rotten line pilots came out of trash-haulers, too.

  • LifeR

    “How can we correct the current situation though?:-)”

    Alisa (or anyone else who may be interested),

    There are a number of smaller companies than can arrange everything from the puchase of a 747 to booking a single charter flight. One company that I have had good experience with is:
    Access Jet Aviation

  • guy herbert

    What Midwesterner said.

    I used not to be at all keen on flying except on the occaision I went Upper Class, when the pampering almost made up for the bureaucracy and bullying between home and plane and plane and destination. The last time I flew was in 2000. As things currently are, with bureaucracy and bullying multiplied, I can’t see myself flying again unless privately.