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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023


In the wake of last week’s plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard that claimed the lives of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and his wife’s sister, the Business Journal asks:

Would you think twice about flying in a private plane?

David Galst [pic5-31nm]

Vice President, High Tech Banking

Comerica Bank-California

I would not fly in a private plane. I had a very close call in a private plane coming out of Lake Tahoe two years ago. A storm was coming in, we were in the clouds, and we weren’t on radar. We thought we were over the mountains and we had a hard time gaining altitude. We had major turbulence things were flying all over the place. We called in to the tower, but they couldn’t pick us up on radar. Just at that point, we were thrown down about a thousand feet. You don’t know which way is up. But my friend didn’t panic and he held the plane in the right position. We were actually flying over a lake. This weekend just reinforced how dangerous it is.

Ben Neumann



I fly in private jets, but I don’t fly them myself. I had some flying lessons and it was nice and it’s fun, but I fly a lot and I’d rather use the time to work than to get the thrill of flying. Last weekend just strengthened my opinion on that.

Scott Barton

National Director of Public Relations

Playboy Entertainment Group

No. I don’t allow my life to be governed by fear. I don’t worry about things like that, or being in traffic under an overpass in case of an earthquake. When your number’s up, it’s up. I actually used to be a flight attendant, so I know where all the emergency exits are so I would feel more comfortable in a jetliner.

Robin L. Jones [pic4-26nm]

Managing Director

Paladin Staffing Services

No, it was a very isolated incident. I don’t fly very often, but it’s not because I have any policy against it. Every time I’m flying overseas on a plane with my husband, I think about it it’s definitely tempting fate. But there are worse ways to go than with the person you love in a plane.

Bruce Armstrong


Haight, Brown & Bonesteel LLP

I have a student license and I fly solo, so no, I’m really not thinking much different. Obviously it was a tragedy airplane accidents tend to be tragedies, because of the damage that can arise. But from everything that I’ve heard about the Kennedy tragedy, it appears to be a classic case of pilot error. The biggest decision is go or no-go. The principle is, if there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt. It’s really easy to get disoriented, until you learn to rely on instincts, you have to be very careful. You’re as safe as your pilot. Most of my friends are very safe pilots.

Troy Westergaard

Development Executive

Merv Griffin Entertainment

Let’s put it this way: When you call to get life insurance, the first two questions they ask you are, “Do you smoke?” and “Do you pilot your own aircraft?” I don’t smoke, and I don’t pilot my own plane. And I have never been a big fan of those prop-engine puddle-jumpers. What happened last week underscores what I feel about it. If it was the only way I had to get off a desert island I would do it, but if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t. I’m a white-knuckle flyer anyway.

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