Flying A Gulfstream IV — The Flight Of My Life!

How I Ended Up On A Gulfstream IV
Flying A Gulfstream IV — The Flight Of My Life!


Let me start first by once again thanking Rick Lashbrook at CharterBox.com private jet charters for arranging this trip and Denielle Pintos of Fuga, Inc., the Part 135 Charter Operator of the Gulfstream IV I flew. Neither of them asked me to mention their companies or promote their services in any way, but this was a dream come true, and I can’t thank them enough for making this ridiculously awesome experience possible. I haven’t met either of you, but I owe you a parade or something. The internet is a crazy awesome place!

Yesterday I wrote about how I ended up on a 2.5 hour flight on a Gulfstream IV. I went from an ordinary Monday night, to less than 18 hours later finding myself on a 14 seat private jet. With that out of the way, here’s the story of the actual experience, starting the night before…

Calling my mom

Like most other well-adjusted guys, when I’m excited about something I call my German mother. 😉

So at around 8PM PT on Monday I called my mom, figuring she’d share my excitement.

“Mom, it looks like I’m going to be flying a private jet tomorrow down to San Diego!!!!!!!”

“Benjamin, zhis is nice, please fly safe.”

“. . .”

Okay, I failed to consider it was 11PM on the east coast and she was sound asleep when I called her, because clearly what I said didn’t register with her.

When I woke up the next morning, however, I saw a voicemail on my phone left at 4:34AM PT from my mother:

“Benjamin, zhis is Mom, I am not sure if I just have a dream or if zhou called me last night to say zhou are flying a private zjet today. If zhis is the case I am very concerned and vant to know zhe details, zhis sounds very strange. Please call me back right away.”

Ah, that’s more the reaction I was expecting from my mother! Once she actually heard the details she shared my excitement.

Taking an Uber to a private jet!

I left my apartment at around 11AM on Tuesday and ordered an Uber to take me to the airport. I got in the Uber and the driver said “to the airport?” I said “yup,” and was so caught in my excitement and thoughts that it didn’t even occur to me to tell the driver that we weren’t going to a commercial airport.

We’d been driving for five minutes before I thought to say “to clarify, we’re going to Boeing Field and not SeaTac, please.”

The driver looked at me and said “but… you have luggage?” I said “yes, I’m flying out of there today.” He said “oh, I didn’t realize airlines started flying there.” I just smirked, as my anticipation continued to build.

Arriving at Aeroflight Executive Services

We pulled up at Aeroflight Executive Services, where the jet was departing from. It’s a really basic building, and once inside I told them the tail number of the plane I was looking for.

Sign outside of Aeroflight Executive Services
Aeroflight Executive Services signage

Aeroflight Executive Services building
Aeroflight Executive Services building

They told me that the plane was just being refueled and invited me to take a seat. The room itself was pretty simple, and featured some snacks and a coffee machine. But of course normally a charter guest would be pulling up to the airport and immediately getting on the plane, with the door closing as soon as they get there. In this case I arrived plenty early, since I was a guest and didn’t want them waiting on me.

Executive Services lounge
Aeroflight Executive Services lounge

Seating in the lounge
Aeroflight Executive Services lounge

Really this is where the beauty of flying private starts.

I have such a post-9/11, commercial airline mentality. As the plane was being refueled I really sheepishly asked the guy working there “would it be okay if I just step a few feet outside the door to take a picture of the plane?”

I had visions in my head of my stepping on the tarmac and the entire airport shutting down and terminals evacuating, with a SWAT team sending me to Gitmo. He looked at me as if I was crazy for asking, and said “of course, you can do whatever you want.”

So I stepped outside of the building and couldn’t help but giggle at the fact that I was on the tarmac without supervision.

Flying private is just f*&$%^# awesome beyond words.

Gulfstream IV being refueled
Gulfstream IV being refueled

After waiting for about 10 minutes, the captain walked into the building to tell me they were ready. Captain Ted introduced himself, told me it should be a nice flight and that our flight time was 2hr24min. He insisted on carrying my bags to the plane.

I mean, seriously, I’ve flown just about every top first class airline product in the world, but I can’t even describe how jaw dropping the experience was. The captain personally picks you up and even carries your bag to the plane. I’m not worthy!

Gulfstream IV flying me to San Diego
Gulfstream IV flying me to San Diego

Side of Gulfstream IV
Gulfstream IV flying me to San Diego

If I’d been even somewhat in possession of my senses on the tarmac, I was in complete shock once I boarded the plane. I mean, I’m still not sure how I managed to get through the first five minutes without soiling myself. The flight attendant, Shellie, was in the cabin and quickly introduced herself. She was simply incredible beyond words, in a completely different league than any commercial flight attendant I’ve had.

The Gulfstream IV is a 14 seat plane, with a variety of seating options, including forward and rear facing seats, a couch, and an “executive” table which seats four.

The cabin is just stunning. Stunning. Stunning.

Cabin from the back
Gulfstream IV cabin

Cabin seats
Gulfstream IV cabin

I really didn’t know what to do with myself once I got a few cabin pictures. I mean, I had 14 choices of where to sit, how the hell am I supposed to decide?

I ended up sitting down at the “table,” and as soon as I was seated the door closed and we were already taxiing to the runway.

Shellie asked if I had ever been on a Gulfstream before. Now there are two ways I thought to answer this:

  • Option 1: *flailing arms and making noises like a seal* “OMG NO BUT THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER!”
  • Option 2: *look around as if I’m a private jet regular* “No, I don’t think I’ve been on this particular one before.”

I of course went with the latter — didn’t want to embarrass myself. 😉

She non-intrusively acquainted me with the emergency exits and safety features of the plane, and off we were.

Shellie continued “I made you some smoothies and homemade parfaits.” At this point we were maybe a minute from the runway, so I downed them like shots at a dive bar.

Also, I’ve had some good pre-departure service on airlines in first class, but they never came with decorative plants! You listening, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific? I expect a two foot potted plant with my next pre-departure beverage! 😉

Pre-departure service
Gulfstream IV pre-departure service

Within three minutes we were airborne, and one of the coolest things about flying private has to be that there’s no flight deck door, so I could look all the way down the runway as we took off. I’ve flown in a jumpseat on a commercial plane once before, and this was the next best thing.

I love the shape of the Gulfstream IV windows — very panoramic!

Taxiing out
Gulfstream IV taxiing out

Gulfstream IV after takeoff
Gulfstream IV after takeoff

View of water after takeoff
Gulfstream IV after takeoff

On private jets catering is entirely at the client’s discretion. They can order what they want, all the way up to caviar and Krug (or even better, I suppose). I was just “hitching a ride” in this case, so wasn’t expecting anything.

There’s a snack basket that comes standard on the plane, along with drinks (including booze). Like I said, I felt sheepish asking for anything, but Shelley couldn’t have been nicer and insisted I help myself to the snack basket and that I have a drink.

Snack basket
Gulfstream IV snack basket

Figi water
Gulfstream IV Fiji water

I asked for a Diet Coke, which was served in proper glassware.

Drink service of diet coke and chips
Gulfstream IV drink service

About 20 minutes after takeoff the captain made us aware that we were passing Mt. Rainier. It was a cloudy day, so the views were even more stunning than usual, with the peak of Mt. Rainier making an appearance through the high level cloud layer.

Views of Mt. Rainier through the clouds
Gulfstream IV Mt. Rainier views

I didn’t want to disappoint reader Mark had way too much to drink, so headed back to the lavatory, which was located behind the galley, and was surprisingly spacious.

Galley on Gulfstream IV
Gulfstream IV galley

View from outside door of lavatory
Gulfstream IV lavatory

Sink in the lavatory
Gulfstream IV lavatory

Captain Ted briefly came out of the cockpit to talk to me, and was just a fascinating guy. He had been flying private jets since 1979, and that was after his military career. So unlike the pilots flying similarly sized “regional jets” commercially (that are typically around my age), this guy had been flying for 45+ years.

Of course being so used to commercial aviation I can’t describe how excited I was when he invited me to visit the flight deck. The flight deck!!

I have visions of being tackled by an air marshal and ending up in a Siberian prison for trying to go anywhere near a flight deck while in-flight, so I was simply in disbelief.

Now to be clear, I know on private planes that’s allowed, but the entire day had been so surreal, and the actual process of going to the flight deck in-flight was just so unbelievably cool.

Flight deck and pilots
Gulfstream IV flight deck

Flight deck on Gulfstream IV
Gulfstream IV flight deck

After going back to the cabin I couldn’t sit still, so I think in the process of the 2hr24min flight I sat in all 14 seats at one point or another.

View from seat of cabin
Gulfstream IV cabin

Standing view of cabin
Gulfstream IV cabin

The views in-flight were stunning, so I spent much of the flight gazing out of the window. While I had loaded entertainment onto my iPad, I decided that this flight environment was just too classy for watching Shahs of Sunset or the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

View over Northern California
Gulfstream IV view over Northern California

I spent much of the flight speaking with Shelley, the flight attendant, and she couldn’t have been more awesome. She was truly such a professional and had such a different mentality than virtually any of the commercial flight attendants I’ve met.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of amazing commercial flight attendants, but what impressed me was how the challenges that come with the job were also what she loved about it. She used to work in real estate and explained that this is her “fun” dream job after having a kid, and she couldn’t enjoy it more.

It’s also fascinating what duties the flight attendants of private jets have. Not only is she responsible for service aboard, but she’s also responsible for catering, and often has to go to the supermarket to buy stuff herself on layovers, based on what the guest has requested. So after a 10 hour flight she might have only eight hours before her next flight, but during that time has to go shopping for the flight.

Amazing, and her positive attitude was so refreshing.

Shortly before we began our descent Shelley asked if I wanted a salad/antipasto plate. I explained I really didn’t want to inconvenience and it wasn’t necessary, but she said it wasn’t a problem at all.

I was expecting her to pull out a pre-made plate from the fridge with everything on it, but that wasn’t the case. Instead she proceeded to take each individual ingredient out of the fridge and make the salad “fresh.” She sliced the tomatoes, salami, etc. While it was a fairly simple meal, I’ve never seen something prepared with such effort on a plane. And of course it tasted as good as it looked.

Like I said, if you’re a private jet client you can order food in advance to whatever specifications you’d like, and I wasn’t expecting anything. So this was a really nice surprise, and really not necessary.

Salad/Antipasto plate
Gulfstream IV meal

About 20 minutes out we began our descent, and eventually touched down on runway 27.

Approach into San Diego
Gulfstream IV approach into San Diego

We taxied past the airline terminal, at which point the reality set in that my private jet flight was over and I’d eventually have to once again deal with the hassles of commercial aviation. 😉

We crossed the runway and taxied over to the private side of the airport, and parked near the Landmark Aviation building.

San Diego Airport terminal
San Diego Airport terminal

San Diego Airport private jet area
San Diego Airport private jet area

Eventually we reached our parking position, where a van was waiting to take me the Landmark Aviation facility.

Gulfstream IV on arrival in San Diego
Gulfstream IV on arrival

Van to private jet facility
Van to private jet facility

I can’t even begin to describe in words how awesome this experience was. I used 2,000 words above to try and describe the experience, though it doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

I love all my blog readers, but seriously, I can’t properly express my gratitude to Rick and Denielle for their generosity in making this happen. Or maybe I shouldn’t be grateful, since they’ve ruined me forever. 😉

I mean, do you have any clue how tough it was to board this plane back to Los Angeles yesterday?

American-Eagle-San-Diego

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Comments

  1. Glad you had such a great time, Lucky! I used to fly biz jets a lot in my corporate days and you recreated my first time perfectly. I will say there’s one potential downside when you’re flying for work and that’s when you’re on transcontinental trips with some of your co-workers. Oddly, I preferred sleeping with 300 strangers in biz class of a 747 then sleeping with four co-workers on the overnight to Europe in the biz jet. Not sure, but I felt more private with the strangers then my actual co-workers.

    Then there was the time the CEO decided to give me my annual review on a flight from Bucharest to Los Angeles. That worried me because if it was a bad review I had no place to hide!

    Glad you really enjoyed this!

  2. so lucky, what about the seats i always thought they were worse than commercial airlines for long flights, i mean are they full lie flat? what about the noise is it noisier the plane?

  3. Glad you got to experience something you liked so much.

    So did you, at any point, sit in your seat and wiggle-waggle right and left and right and left, really hard, to see if you could make the plane move left and right? Yes, I’m nine years old, and I would have totally done that just to see.

  4. @ miguel — I was actually really surprised by how quiet the plane was. Even though I sat towards the back of the plane for most of the flight (where the engines are), it felt considerably quieter than most commercial aircraft I’ve been on.

    The seats actually all convert into flat beds, so the plane has a sleeping capacity of six. The seats were really comfortable for sitting. The padding was amazing.

  5. I flew a Gulfstream II from KY to Mexico at my last job. I didn’t really realize how awesome this was until I started flying more commercial flights. Glad you had a great time!

  6. Ditto to what MIchael T said!
    Nothing worse than being stuck on the corporate jet with your workaholic boss……cocktails are out of the question & you have to look busy the entire time. Give me SQ business class any day!!

  7. Where does the flight attendant hang out during the flight? I assume she is very good at keeping herself out of the way?

  8. @ Bgriff — Well in this case since there were 14 seats and just one passenger, she sat in passenger seats. We both sat at the table for a while chatting (I was fascinated by her job), and then later in the flight she sat in the forward section while I sat in the rear section. If the cabin is full (or half full or whatever) there’s a jumpseat in the very front of the cabin, and otherwise the galley in the back is pretty large and feels somewhat removed from the cabin.

  9. Nice report. Now if I can only make enough money to buy one so I never have to fly commercial again….

  10. Really not a big deal. This is why, if you had a real job, you’d be flying corporate planes, not commercial, when appropriate.

  11. I agree with Michael T. and Nancy, nothing worse than to fly private jet on a biz trip with co-workers or the boss. After couple trips with bunch of workoholics you are happy to see your “friendly” TSA agent at the LAX and care less if you get an upgrade or not. Believe me. 🙂

  12. As always I enjoyed this report and your humor. What a great way to celebrate six years blogging! You couldn’t be more deserving and I couldn’t be happier for you. As you mentioned though, good luck ‘slumming’ it in first class lol.

  13. “So after a 10 hour flight she might have only eight hours before her next flight, but during that time has to go shopping for the flight.”
    Dumb question, but can gulfstreams even fly 10hrs straight?

  14. Way to go, Ben! Literally.

    I was laughing outloud, because a)I may have chosen reaction #1 to Shelley’s question and b) would have soiled myself.

    Seriously, one amazing experience that was all too short. I really enjoyed reading about your conversation with both the captain and Shelley.

    Thank you very much for sharing it with us through pictures and words.

  15. @ Umesh — Yep, it has a range of about 4,500 NM, so can go to Europe nonstop from most of the US (though to the west coast would sometimes have to stop based on winds, maybe in Gander).

  16. Congratulations Lucky! You were very fortunate to experience that side of air travel. It truly is a whole different level of service and convenience.

    Reading your post brought me back to when I used to work for a company that also owned an air charter business. Everything from a King Air B200, to a Gulfstream, up to a 737. We tagged along once on a flight when the 737 was being updated with new seats and IFE. With the exception of 12 recliner seats in front, all of the seats had been removed. We played high stakes mini-golf flying from the the west coast to Texas. Sigh, now, I’m a public employee with two kids and fly Southwest domestically.

  17. Hi All,

    I’ve enjoyed reading Lucky’s blog for a little over a year. I enjoy all the BoardingArea blogs but OneMileAtATime is the only one I subscribe to. About 8-10 mos ago I had “Mac”, one of the guys that works alongside Lucky at PointsPros.com, assist me with an award booking. (DL pesos …4 seats at the low award level… in Biz Class… on AF metal — on the A380 no less — LAX-CDG-LAX!) Since then I’ve referred others to PointsPros. All satisfied customers. That’s my plug for Lucky’s award booking service!

    I enjoy the unique insight and advice one can get from Lucky’s blog posts – all while being ENTERTAINED. I think that is what sets his blog apart from the others: Lucky’s enthusiasm comes through in his writing style.

    How the opportunity came about:

    The charter operator emailed me the other day about their GIV departing empty out of Seattle asking if I had any friends or acquaintances that wanted to hop on for fun. I began thinking about who I knew in Seattle that (a) has the appetite to travel to a random destination, and (b) has the lifestyle to drop everything and hop on a one-way private jet ride and not worry about how they were going to return.

    I didn’t ‘know’ Lucky but am glad I reached out to him. Like you all, I really enjoyed reading about his experience. I was happy for him that he enjoyed it so much.

    I have to credit the operator of the jet. All too often the charter operators of these empty leg flights will try and hold out til the very, very last minute, hoping to find a paying client only to have the plane fly empty to its destination. With less than 24 hrs til departure, the operator recognized that it was going to fly empty, and that it would be nice to put someone on the plane who could appreciate the experience. I was glad they reached out to me and I am glad I reached out to Lucky.

    Lucky owes me a diet coke.

  18. Jealous, I only know someone who owns private jets 😛

    Did you have to pass any security/metal detector at Seattle? Does one simply go in, and walk onto the jet?

  19. So happy you could take this!
    You say the cabin was stunning.. but how does it compare to Emirates F?

  20. “of course, you can do whatever you want.” Best line ever on this blog, or any other for that matter. One simple quote from a guy doing his job every day at Boeing Field just shows how ridiculous our commercial aviation security can be.

  21. I really enjoy the takeoff experience on private jets. By comparison to commercial jets that lumber down the runway, the little jets need so little runway and they’re so agile. It feels like you’re on the back of a cougar when they leave the ground.

  22. Wow. Just plain old wow. This is one of the best trip reports I have read on any blog. To me this is much more an aspirational experience than flying F on a 380.

  23. Hi Lucky,

    I think you should get your licence and become a commercial pilot – you are such an enthusiast!

    Great report, I liked the last part with the AA Plane 🙂

  24. @Rick, like you I enjoy Ben’s blog because it is informative and entertaining.

    @Ben, so glad you had this opportunity.

  25. Sounds great, and if anyone would really appreciate it, it’s you. Glad you had such a great experience.

    Mark and his hilariously predictable comments are now one of my favorite parts of the blog. When did he come on the scene?

  26. Awesome… I remember that feeling the first time I got to take up ol’ 737SA, “my private plane” during my first solo touch and go’s.

    Although not nearly as comfy, it was still cool as hell, and as an added bonus, I got to spend the next few months in the left cockpit seat! 🙂

    On the other hand, the FBO didn’t even have a vending machine and the coffee…

  27. Nice review Lucky, I know this have been discussed a million times already on commercial flight, but should you tip on a private charter?

  28. Your comment, “this flight environment was just too classy for watching Shahs of Sunset or the Real Housewives of Atlanta.” got me thinking. When the Kardashians have a chance to watch the Kardashians show on their private jet I wonder if they say this plane is too classy to watch ourselves. Probably not.

  29. Wow that is my dream to fly in a private jet like that!

    Did you read the story of Justin Bieber and his crew flying in a private jet recently? The pilots had to wear oxygen masks cause the whole plane was filled with smoke.

  30. Awesome experience! Now — thanks to Rick & Denielle — all further trip reports will include comparison to GIV instead of SQ/CX/LH F 😛

  31. It’s not a private jet facility, Ben. It’s an FBO – not a very nice one by the looks of it. FBOs are companies that offer services to private planes from Gulfstreams to 2 seater prop planes.

    Some are very nice with showers etc and some are basic. Any private pilot would be quite familiar with them, especially the big ones like Signature or Mercury.

  32. Nice experience. I agree with the first comment though too… It is great, especially domestically, but I’d take LH F over private for long-haul. Domestically though, I cherish every chance I get to fly in these!

  33. This may seem silly, but I’m curious how the actual “feel” of flying felt relative to commercial flying? For example, do you feel the speed more on take off and/or in the air? What about flying through clouds…. Do you bump more/less? And so on. Thanks!

  34. @ Craig — Not a silly question at all. I was actually really surprised by how smooth the ride was, I thought it was quieter than a commercial jet and just as smooth.

    The Gulfstream IV can cruise all the way up at 45,000 feet, so theoretically could adjust altitude more to find a smooth ride. Wasn’t needed in this case, as we cruised at 39,000 feet most of the way.

  35. @ David — To clarify, can’t say service was necessarily *better* than the best service I’ve ever had on commercial, since I’ve had some incredible service.

    But service was in a *different* league. On a commercial flight, flight attendants have a galley with a curtain they can retreat to. On private it’s tougher since the flight attendant has to be in the cabin the whole flight and has nowhere to retreat to, but at the same time doesn’t want to be intrusive. That balancing act is an art in and of itself.

  36. Hi Lucky,
    I’m a long time lurker and really enjoy your posts and insights into travel. I will always remember my first private flight and you captured the spirit. Mine was two and half hours to Miami and I catered the crap out of it with lobster, shrimp, Dom etc. a bit much for that flight!haha

  37. I’ve only ever been in a Gulf Stream on the ground, on display for sale at Sun N Fun. I was thinking yesterday that this would be a silly question, but based on some things you said here, maybe not – have you ever been to Sun N Fun? It seems right up your alley, and the Florida version happens in April right outside of Tampa.

    I volunteered for over 10 years at Sun N Fun and flew in quite a lot of different ultralights in that time. Flying in an experimental aircraft is even more fun, though not luxurious – no flight attendants or cocktails, but you really feel that you’re flying when the wind is in your face!

  38. Wow, first time I read a review of a Private Jet experience. Nice one Lucky! I think you probably need to have a permanent advert link to charterbox.com form now on. 😉

  39. Hi lucky,
    Sounds like a you had a great experience and couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Glad you got to do it and we got to read about it.Have been learning from and enjoying your blog for the past 3 years.

    About 1 i/2 years ago I was the only passenger on a LAN 767 from MIA to CUN. I was an business class award flight to Easter Island using pre-devaluation British Airway miles. Was booked MIA-SCL stop and then on to IPC a few days later. The MIA-SCL flight had a stop in CUN and apparently LAN didn’t have the authority to sell revenue tickets from MIA to CUN but was able to book an award ticket through to SCL. The pilots and flight attendants seemed as suprised as I was that they had a passenger on the first leg of the flight but couldn’t have been nicer. They let me wander all over the plane including a short time in the jumpseat chatting with the pilots. Anyway, the plane filled up in Cancun and it was just your typical LAN business class flight the rest of the way.

    Will be traveling to the Olympics in Sochi next week with my brother with a few days in IST first and then Moscow after the games. Your award booking service, PointsPro.com assisted with the flight arrangements.

    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  40. Glad you enjoyed the flight Ben! I took a Falcon 900X from Le Bourget to Zurich the other week, had two French ex fighter pilots at the controls who had the nose almost vertical on takeoff. I was sitting backwards and felt weightless for about 20seconds!

    They then took us all the way up to 48,000ft – really shows how powerful these jets are…

    They also had full HUD displays in the cockpit which were pretty cool, especially on approach.

    Out of interest, what is the headroom like on a GIV? I am only familiar with Citations and Falcons.

  41. Love your posts, and this one is no exception.

    When I read the last line (“I mean, do you have any clue how tough it was to board this plane back to Los Angeles yesterday?”), the first thing that came to my mind was this –

    What if the next leg of the trip was on Kuwait Airways rather than AA? Now that would have made for a ‘well-rounded’ trip report.

    And I could not stop smiling (on a serious note, I would not wish for that for you – really happy that you got on this flight).

  42. Awesome review!! Had a chance to fly private once HPNADS on a Dassault Falcon 900 and it completely spoiled me (wife won a contest for a once in a lifetime trip to the Superbowl in Dallas).

    One highlight being that when we departed it was snowing in Dallas and the airport was closed. Rather than keeping us on the ground we got to “pick our stopover” and spent a lovely 4 hours in Nashville waiting for the airport to re-open. Pilot arranged for a car to pick us up, take us around and bring us back. Amazing.

    You certainly dont get that on Delta 🙂

  43. Benjamin, i must’ve missed the post, but i didn’t know your mom speaks english with a German accent! i knew about your vater…

  44. No hot towels or mixed nuts, but at least the Diet Coke came with a lemon wedge!

    @Rick – I love to read this blog for the same reasons you do. Thanks for getting Lucky onto this flight for such an amazing trip report!

  45. I spy an Airshow® 4xx!

    I guess with all the other perks of bizjet service, having a moving map product is no longer worth mentioning 😛 (Although I grant you that system is ancient)

    Too bad the aircraft didn’t have a current generation Cabin Management System; I’d love to see you report on an aircraft that does. I know it’d blow you mind!

  46. @ Lucky, this is one of my favorite trip reports ever!!

    @ Rick, thanks for making this experience happen so that all of Lucky’s readers can partake in the experience.

  47. Cool! That looks awesome! I love Boeing field, I fly in there all the time on kenmore air. Glad you got to do this, with all your great trip reports you deserve an experience like this!

  48. I just recently discovered Lucky’s blog. Can’t stop reading. Haven’t flown private but I do recall flying a prop job once where the pilot left the cockpit door open on landing. I was in the first row on the aisle and got a perfect view of the landing. This was of course back in the olden days.

  49. You said you’ve been in the jumps eat of a commercial aircraft. How did you do this?? It’s a dream of mine!

  50. @Lucky I noticed you commenting on the facilities at the FBO and had not noticed this brought up elsewhere. When a charter client arrives at the airport to take a flight, at least 95% of the time the car pulls up about 20 feet from the plane, the client directs the ramp people which bags they want placed in the cargo hold, and then they walk right on board. The car (assuming the client drove themselves) is valet parked in a secure location. Thus the FBO terminal is primarily used by the pilots and crew, upon arrival the clients cars are waiting right near the door and are driven off the airport with the client never stepping foot inside the terminal.

    I have a birds-eye view of this at my workplace, and it is truly an amazing way to travel. Thanks for the detailed report Ben!

  51. HI Lucky,

    It’s always been a dream of mine to fly in a private jet so good on you. What’s the noise level like compared to a commercial airliner.

    Cheers

  52. I love this! I work for an airport and have security clearance to go out on the apron. I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas EVERY TIME I do it, so I can completely relate to your enthusiasm. I love private jets and every time I see one take off and land (which is often) I can’t help but wish I was on board. Thanks so much for sharing this experience – sounds like you had an amazing time!

  53. I know this is an older post, but congrats! No matter whether it’s a little Cessna 172 or a Falcon 8x, I still prefer General Aviation over Commercial any day of the week. Just not having to deal with TSA and airlines makes it worth it. Then there’s the thrill of actually flying. In these small planes windows are relatively much larger than on the commercial aircraft and it doesn’t feel like you’re crammed in a tube and ran through like a bunch of cattle. My fav are the in-flight lessons the pilots are often willing to give. I grew up around small planes and never lost the desire to get right back up in one. Just last year I had the fortune of being allowed to do a take-off and VFR landing in a Piper Cheyenne. Absolutely awesome.

    I hope this experience sticks with you and maybe someday you’ll find yourself at the controls of one of these magnificent machines one day, even if it is only for one day, or even 10 minutes, or maybe a future career. I know if I had to do life all over again, being a pilot is right up there on my list.

  54. Looks like Aeroflight changed a lot since I took lessons there back in the 90’s. At that time it was a flight school with a bunch of Cessna 152’s and 172’s. Now it is called Kenmore Air Services or something like that. I live in Phoenix now and found this article when searching for what happened to Aeroflight.

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