Sydney / Sidney: Next Time, Look at a Map

For the Inept Traveler Award that really takes the cake, read about Tobi Gutt from Germany.

Tobi intended to travel from Germany to Sydney, Australia, to visit his girlfriend. He didn’t question, however, the route the airline assigned him: through Portland, Oregon, and then Billings, Montana. It was in Billings that he finally noticed the final destination listed on his itinerary: Sidney, Montana.

"I did wonder but I didn’t want to say anything," Gutt told the Bild newspaper. "I thought to myself, you can fly to Australia via the United States."

Yes, he eventually managed to make it to Sydney, giving all of us a laugh along the way. Happy New Year, Tobi! from all of us at SkyGeek.

Private Jets in the News

For interesting news about private flying, check out these articles.

A wave of fatal air crashes has claimed the lives of area businesspeople this year. … Despite the Indiana crashes, federal data show flying is safer than ever.

Nationwide, the number of plane crashes dropped 35 percent and fatal crashes fell 32 percent from 1986 to 2005, according to the latest statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board.


Hundreds of small private jets will be exempt from a European scheme designed to make the aviation industry pay for the environmental damage it causes. …The scheme will be introduced for flights within the European Union in 2011 and be extended to all arrivals and departures at European airports the next year. But the commission added that very light private jets, small propeller-driven aircraft and government aircraft would not be included.

The announcement was welcomed by air taxi operators, who are investing heavily in small jets to meet rapidly growing demand for private flights. More than 300 small jets are to be delivered to European operators by 2011.


Happy Holidays

Yesterday we got to take a much needed break. We were able to get out of the office do a little flying and catch up with some friends for a Holiday lunch at our friend Mark Grusauski’s in Canaan Ct.

For those of that do not know Mark, he is the owner of Wingworks, LLC. in Canaan Connecticut. Wingworks is a small shop that specializes in restoring older aircraft. If the Howard he is working on now turns out anything like the last one, it will be not just another fine piece of craftsmanship, but a work of art. The wings he showed me were as smooth as a newborns’ bottom after months of filling and sanding.

The flight from Sky Acres Airport to North Canaan Aviation Facilities Airport, a small private grass strip where Mark has his business, is a short one. The air was smooth and the music from the XM Satellite radio made the trip even quicker. I had a chance to try out a pair of the  new Peltor Nordica headsets, which were very comfortable and had great stereo sound. Steven swears by his trusty Telex Stratus 50D’s, but for short trips like this, the Peltors were perfect. We even made a quick landing at a strip carved out of the top of a hill called the Gash (more about that in another post!).

When we arrived some of the other guests had already arrived. There was a Cessna 180 on skis, a couple of Piper Super Cubs, two on amphibious floats and one brand new Cub Crafters super cub, also on floats. Mark got to fly the new Cub cross country from the factory this summer.

It was a nice mild day for the first day of winter, so Mark had everything set up outside and the hangar door open. There were picnic tables full of great food and plenty of folks to chat with. There was even a 1929 Model A Ford pickup that was being used to serve the drinks from! Mark  put  the new DVD we wrapped in an old sectional  into the player, giving everybody a chance to view the 2nd edition of Big Rocks and Long Props; another great DVD by Greg Miller about off airport flying. If you enjoy that type of flying or are interested in flying, this is a must see!

After some great burgers, cooked on the grill, and some friendly conversation it was time to head back to Sky Acres and to work.

Thank you to Mark for inviting us out to your party. It was nice excuse to get out, do some flying and meet up with friends and other pilots.

Also at this time all of us from would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal customers for a successful year. We are working hard to ensure that your experience on our website is pleasant and that our customer service is helpful. As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any comments or suggestions. We are always looking for ways to improve the website and make things easier for your, our customer.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and healthy 2007.

Steven, Jeff, Sandy, Traci, Paul, Bruce, & Jackson


Prince Charles Gets on the Bandwagon


The environment’s knight-in-shining-armor is making himself known, with a new commitment to reducing his carbon footprint.

Yes, England’s Prince Charles is going commercial. Read about it in these articles:

We’ll be looking for him on our next British Airways flight. Wonder if princes generally travel first class? 

Raised Retirement Age Will Keep Pilots in the Air

It looks like the FAA will soon be raising the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots from 60 to 65, extending the life of a pilot’s career for the first time in 50 years.

Recent changes to the international regulations took place in November, allowing foreign pilots up to 65 years old to fly into the United States as long as their co-pilots are no older than 59.

The US Congress is now considering legislation that would allow pilots between ages 60 and 65 in the cockpit if their co-pilots are younger than 60.

Read more details in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Aging pilots seek to retire FAA ceiling, keep flying and MSNBC’s FAA considers raising pilots’ retirement age.


Lifestyles of the Super Rich

Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine, has published a new report: 2006 Holiday Spending Survey, along with 2006 The New Jet Set: A Psychographic Analysis of Luxury Spending.

The New Jet Set report is fascinating. It delineates the three categories of the super rich:

  1. Trendsetters: those who are in tune with trends and are early supporters of change. They can be highly influential with their peers.
  2. Winners: those who reward achievements or occasions with purchases.
  3. Connoisseurs: those who appreciate the finer things in life, and buy accordingly.

Elite Traveler also recounts in Nearly One in Four ‘Super Rich’ Will Shop by Private Jet This Holiday Season that 2006 spending by the super rich will be in 14 key categories, ranging from spas and spirits to corporate gifts and charitable donations.

In related news, the Pensacola News Journal reports in Flying in Style that there are a growing number of business professionals who recently have made the expensive leap from smaller prop planes to the rarefied realm of business jets. One person interviewed said, "From a business standpoint, it’s very important to demonstrate you can hang in there with the big boys. You have to show your clients you have the staying power, and having a jet is part of that."

Finally, for a refreshing look at how the other half lives, check out this profile of Jimmy Carter in The New Yorker Magazine.