Thursday, March 6, 2014

What It's Like to Fly in a Private Jet

In writing my recent book, Stalking the Sky, I wanted to take the reader aboard a private jet, an experience most won't ever have. A private jet is like a limousine in the sky, with the crew always at the ready to convey its pampered passengers in luxury to any place any time. Sometimes, though, the passengers would rather not be taking that flight, nor would the crew.

Here's an excerpt:

Sometime after midnight she had finally dropped onto a sofa in exhausted sleep. The call from Crew Scheduling seemed to come only an instant later. A Presidential Service crew, which included a flight attendant, was needed for one of the business jets usually rented out to corporations: "spur of the moment . . . V.I.P.s . . . get here as fast as you can." For a moment after the voice ceased and the line went dead, she was uncertain whether it had been a dream, but then she felt the receiver against her ear and shuffled toward the shower.

The last time Will had been in the Westwind was in the pilot's seat, flying with a contingent of GUA executives to Houston to hammer out a long-term jet-fuel arrangement with a large oil company. He had piloted the sleek plane then to build up hours. It was firm GUA policy that management personnel with operational skills maintain them sharply honed. Buck felt strongly that it kept his managers in touch with the nuts and bolts of running an airline.

The Westwind’s cabin contained two rows of seats and a sitting/sleeping divan along one side of the cabin. Will hung up his jacket and loosened his tie. He was just about to stretch out and catch some sleep when he noticed headlights racing toward the plane. A slim girl clutching a small saffron-colored valise charged out of a taxi and up the stairs. For a moment she seemed confused by the sight that greeted her. Then disbelieving anger widened her eyes to blue floodlights

"One person? You hired this plane and got us all out here in the middle of the night in a snowstorm for just one person?" The question was an indictment.

She had been in such a hurry to make the plane that the buttons on her saffron-and-violet uniform blouse had worked open a good way toward the top of her skirt. Will found himself staring at the slash of skin.

He lifted his eyes. "If it’s any consolation, lady, it wasn’t my idea either."

Read more: Stalking the Sky

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