sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mid-Week Wonderful

For Sale

N313P
(Mother Jones) This is from Mother Jones, possibly the most 'progressive' rag in the news magazine business. There are bits that I cut but I left quite a bit in, because it ads to the interest of the article that I'm sharing.

It's only $27.5 million. You (yes you)  can own a valuable memento of an interesting part of recent American history. The jet is currently for sale in Dallas, Texas. (LSP, jump right on it. It would be perfect for the Anglican Secret Service) The Boeing 737 business jet seats up to 16 passengers and includes one queen and two single beds, a lounge bar, and three built-in 42-inch TV screens. (don't use a black light in the sleeping area) 

It's the Jet that the newsies loved to follow.

The jet's history can be pieced together from news clippings, human rights reports, and Federal Aviation Administration documents. In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported on a specially modified 737 with the tail number N313P, which had been observed flying between the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. The paper linked the jet back to the CIA through a series of front companies around Washington, DC. One of those companies was Premier Executive Transport Services, which had taken ownership of the new plane in May 2002. The Washington Post found that the names of 325 people ostensibly affiliated with this shadowy company could be traced back to five Beltway-area P.O. boxes. When reporters searched for some of those names in public databases, what little they could turn up was a bit spooky: "Although most names were attached to dates of birth in the 1940s, '50s or '60s, all were given Social Security numbers between 1998 and 2003."

During its time with CIA-linked companies, N313P flew all around the world, landing in spots like Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya, Uzbekistan, and Guantanamo Bay. In September 2003, it touched down at a remote airport in Poland. As the Tribune later suggested, this trip may have had something to do with the Polish intelligence complex in Stare Kiejkuty, which the European Court of Human Rights later found housed a secret CIA site. Before the release of the Senate intelligence committee's 2014 report on the CIA's post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, the Washington Post reported that American intelligence officers had probably abused and tortured detainees at the black site at Stare Kiejkuty. N313P landed near Stare Kiejkuty at least once.

Dynamic Pricing

For those of us who travel, the fluctuating price of a seat on an airplane is annoying. Seat pricing is controlled by an algorithm in a computer and it is set to match supply and demand. I flew from Ontario, California to Dallas, Texas the other day on late notice - same day turn-around - first class on American Airlines, on five day notice. The price of the return ticket was $2000.00. There weren't any coach seats remaining and I had to get there for business, so the customer paid the freight. It's part of the price of a face-to-face meeting. I have another one tomorrow but it's in San Diego, CA. Cheaper for them, easier for me. 

Recently United Airlines had the Chicago Police Department pull a passenger (69 year old doctor) from an aircraft bound for Louisville, bloodying his face in the process.  The video is viral and I won't post it here. The stock price dropped $1.5 billion as a result. Nobody wanted to give up their seat, so the airline chose the passenger off. CEO Oscar Munoz says that he stands with the employee decision to evict four paying passengers to that 4 crew members could dead-head it to Louisville. If they want to do that, they need to stop the passengers at the gate. But if they can adjust what they are willing to charge, shouldn't passengers be able to hold out for the highest bid? Eventually United would have found a taker at somewhere less than $1.5 billion.

The 69 year old physician will heal and his financial compensation for pain, suffering and inconvenience will be in the high seven figures, which is nothing compared to the loss of $1.5 billion to United. They could have paid passengers up to $1,350 to vacate their seats but they didn't. The policy to send in the police, beat up the old man and haul him, bleeding, from the airplane didn't win the "Friendly Skies" any awards for customer service.

Hauling the Devil

I ordered a custom trailer to haul the Ducati Diavel and a yet to be purchased dirt bike around. It was delivered today. I'd install the Condor wheel chalks for the motorcycles tomorrow but I have to work.

My concept is that while I like to make runs on the Diavel, getting a bit closer - like 1,000 miles closer - to the destination in a trailer and then unloading the bike and riding around would be far less stress.

This Look Trailer is 12' x 7' and it's low enough to fit in the garage, which will eventually be it's storage place. 


Hauling the Devil is one of my retirement programs which is finally being realized. I understand that it's a trivial thing, but I'm excited about using it this coming summer. There are plans to take it to Canada in Summer 2018 for a run. If I'm still blogging then, I'm sure that it will appear here on Virtual Mirage.

16 comments:

  1. I thought for sure while reading the post on this 737 jet (N313P) that the punch line would be that it was Hillary Clinton's "Broomstick I", her campaign jet. I'll bet she was on a flight or two of this nefarious unit, though.

    "IF" you are blogging in the summer of 2018? That's like Rush Limbaugh announcing his last broadcast, a knife in the gut. When you hang up your keyboard, what am I going to do to get real news, not fake news, LL?

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    1. This jet is a lot cooler than Broomstick One. If I had $27.5 million laying around (plus another few million to operate it), I might buy N313P just because. But I'm not that cool or that wealthy.

      I'm not planning to stop blogging and providing genuine news to the two dozen people who drift by Virtual Mirage, anytime soon.

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  2. You know the news reports fluctuates as much as the prices per seat on an airlines, but I heard that the good Doc was escorted off the plane, but the ran back on. That is when they had to beat down a 69 year old man. I was disgusted with his whining and screaming like a little girl. But that is easy for me to do from my chair. Personally, I would have walked off the plane and call my lawyer adn sued them. But, again, that opinion is comining from my easy chair.

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    1. He made another five million dollars walking back on the airplane and taking his seat. I'd let three police officers smack me in the nose, break my glasses and drag me off an airplane for $5m. But I'm a whore like that. I'd prefer to make enough to buy N313P, so maybe they could shoot me somewhere that wouldn't leave me permanently disabled.

      I don't know what went through the heads of the people at United or the 69 year old man, but it was a $1.5 billion hit in stock value. Somebody needs to rethink something, and it's not the passengers who are jerked around by airlines EVERY DAY.

      Delete
  3. That is one spiffy trailer, LL. Shiny bright!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Road grime will soon dull the finish and I'll have to break out the wax and buffer.

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    2. Wax it before you use it and much of the dirt won't stick to it.

      Delete
  4. It is baffling why , if the aircraft was full, and they needed four seats for deadhead crew, why they did not just pony up some money and fly them on a charter- or as you say, just keep up the bidding till someone decided it made sense and took the offers.
    Trailering to more desirable destinations to ride has become more appealing as I get older- especially if vast tracks of freeway across open flat plains in the cards.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I drive if it's under about six hours. If it's a longer drive than that (rule of thumb), I fly. Naturally that doesn't include vacations where I'm going 4 wheeling, fishing or something like that.

      I don't like to fly unless I have no choice, because the process is almost always a hassle.

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  5. Hmmmm. Must get that plane.

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    1. The Anglican Secret Police Service NEEDS it. It's not a want, so it's ok to sign the check.

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  6. Think you will find having a trailer around will make you wonder why you waited so long. Much easier to load/unload than a pickup. You can unload at your leisure whereas the pickup may be needed immediately and you don' want to haul the load around. I regret selling my last one, and regret selling an E-350 cargo van with a 7.3 non turbo diesel.

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    1. The 6.2 gas engine in the 1/4 ton Raptor is more than enough to pull the trailer to the moon and I'm with you in the utility of a trailer. It gives you capacity without locking you into a larger truck that you only use occasionally.

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  7. Nothing is trivial if it makes you happy and makes life easier.
    I expect some Hollyweird jetsetter will buy the jet.
    United will be lucky to survive this. BIL is supposed to visit next week. SIL is retired from United so he flies free...

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    Replies
    1. Have him bump somebody just to see how it's received.

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  8. At 2k+ for a ticket, thats really close if not exceeding the price of chartering a private plane. This is at $300 to $500 per hour charter for a small (not a jet) plane.

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