When I saw this headline about a March 5 event:
I chuckled with glee.
“Ha, ha!” I thought. “No more Air Force One! And Trump’s own airplane is out of commission, so Trump’s flying commercial like we mere mortals do, and he was inconvenienced, poor baby!”
Then I started reading, and realized my chuckling, laughing and snorting were premature.
Trump wasn’t flying commercial.
He was traveling on a rich pal’s private plane.
One of his rich Republican toadies who no doubt practically wet his pants in excitement as he offered Trump the use of the plane in hopes of receiving future favors.
A related article in the Washington Post said the donor’s identity could not be immediately verified.
I’m tempted to say, “Just choose a rich Republican with a brown nose,” but – there are so many of them.
Why was Trump traveling? The Washington Post said,
“The plane was attempting to take Trump home to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, FL from the Four Seasons Hotel in New Orleans, where he spoke to some of the Republican Party’s top donors at a private event.”
That “attempting” part: The plane suffered engine failure late that March 5 evening over the Gulf of Mexico.
Because I care about you, I read a recap in this article – so you wouldn’t have to – of the speech Trump gave at the Four Seasons Hotel:
Trump’s short speech – a mere 84 minutes – was heard by…
“…about 250 of the Republican Party’s top donors.”
“Donors who had written checks for tens of thousands of dollars walked out Saturday night holding copies of the former president’s photo book, titled Our Journey Together, purchased by the RNC.”
Have you seen Trump’s book?
It’s not my idea of a lovely parting gift.
In his speech Trump, as expected, repeated his tired old lies about the stolen election.
He displayed his rapier wit by joking about the war in Ukraine:
He demonstrated his acclaimed erudition by calling Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff a “watermelon head” and attorney George Conway a “son of a bitch.”
And he shared his vast scientific expertise by mocking the concept of sea levels rising: “To which I say, great, we have more waterfront property.”
I’m no expert, but it seems to me that rising sea levels mean less land – not more?
I checked on ClimateCentral.org which says:
“As sea levels continue to rise throughout the century, chronic flooding will spread and more land will be permanently lost to the ocean. By 2100 elevation data show land currently home to 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line.”
Back to Trump’s borrowed airplane.
The plane was identified by the Washington Post as a Dassault Falcon 900.
The Dassault Falcon 900 has three engines, but still – one failed engine is major trouble, and it takes a highly skilled, experienced, and smart pilot to land safely with a disabled engine.
The airplane landed in New Orleans, and I’m sure Trump was lavish in his praise and thanks to the pilot for bringing him (Trump) and everyone on board safely back to Earth.
Actually, I’m sure Trump instead was doing some major whining about what a major inconvenience this was, and why the f**k couldn’t the pilot fly with two out of three engines?
Can’t you just hear Trump?
“Hell, when I was a Navy pilot – no, it was Air Force, yeah, Air Force – in Vietnam, I was bombing the hell out of those people – they’re the ones that gave us the Asian flu, you know? One day I’m flying a goddamn son of a bitch bomber and ALL the engines failed! No engines! But I kept flying and dropping bombs and I landed safely and got a Medal of Honor from the president, what’s-his-name, Roosevelt!”
So Trump was stranded in New Orleans, but according to the Politico article,
“…the RNC scrambled and reached out to a donor and found the former president another plane. Trump eventually landed in Palm Beach around 3am Sunday.”
The owner of this loaner was identified:
Craig Estey, a GOP donor and founder of Nevada Restaurant Services:
According to the Dun & Bradstreet website, Estey’s company’s annual income is $72.03 million in annual sales.
Estey, whose full name is Richard Craig Estey, or Richard C. Estey, seems to keep a pretty low profile.
Though I did find this 2008 article:
“In trying to figure out who Estey is, we found some interesting background. Estey runs a chain of gambling parlors in Nevada called Dotty’s. He also operated one of the biggest video gambling operations in Oregon until the state lottery ran him out of town.
“It all started with a domestic dispute Estey had in 2005, when he allegedly held a gun to his then-wife’s head and threatened her life.
“In December 2006, Oregon Lottery Director Dale Penn wrote Estey to terminate his state lottery contract because ‘you do not satisfy the requirements of good character, honesty, and integrity that apply to all Lottery Retailers.’”
The perfect Trump toady!
A toady who could have been spared all this kerfuffle if Trump has just used his own airplane.
You know – Trump’s Boeing 757.
The Boeing 757 he liked to call “Trump Force One”:
A plane with all the comforts of home: dining room, bathroom, shower, bedroom, guest room, and galley, with lavishly appointed fixtures, many plated in 24k gold:
Trump even did a documentary about himself, er, I mean, his plane – and aren’t we lucky we can watch it on YouTube?
Trump used the plane during his 2016 presidential campaign, and then he had the use of Air Force One.
But as I mentioned earlier, Trump’s airplane is out of commission.
And where is Trump’s plane?
According to this March 2021 article:
“…today it sits idle on an airport ramp in Orange County, New York, about 60 miles north of Manhattan…One engine is missing parts. The other is shrink-wrapped in plastic.”
“Flight records accessed by CNN show the 757 hasn’t been flown at all since Inauguration Day.”
That’s Inauguration Day, 2016.
But, according to this article May 2021 article:
Back then, Trump said his Boeing 757…
“…is now being fully restored and updated and will be put back into service sometime prior to the end of the year. It will soon be brought to a Louisiana service facility for the completion of work, inspection and updating of Rolls-Royce engines, and a brand new paint job. When completed, it will be better than ever, and again used at upcoming rallies!”
I guess Trump
lied changed his mind:
“Former President Trump is asking his supporters to help fund his new ‘Trump Force One’ private plane just days after a jet flying him to Mar-a-Lago made an emergency landing when one of its engines failed.
“Trump, through his Save America PAC, sent his supporters an email titled ‘Update Trump Force One’ in which he said that ‘my team is building a BRAND NEW Trump Force One.’”
The email promised a reveal of the new Trump plane and invited fans to click a link for a sneak preview.
That sneak preview is going to cost you, however:
The link goes to a site asking for monthly recurring donations of up to $2,500 a month to access that sneak preview.
“PRESIDENT TRUMP NEEDS YOU TO COMPLETE YOUR DONATION RIGHT NOW!”
Maybe Trump’s rich buddy who loaned him his airplane, Craig Estey, will kick in toward Trump’s new plane.
Then Estey can ask Trump for help the next time he gets in trouble, like threatening his then-wife with a gun.
Or in trouble like this: