Jesse Duplantis, Destrehan televangelist, seeks donations for $54 million jet

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Bert Perry's picture

.....that he'd be all about a private jet, even the Falcon 700, at a cruise speed of 370 knots for 5950 nautical miles, when he could ride business class on a 747-400 at 504 knots (.85 mach) for 7670 nautical miles for far less money.  Let's be honest here; depreciation on a $54 million plane is probably $10 million/year, for which price his ministry could make about 2000 round trips, business class, anywhere within 8000 miles on the planet, annually.  And let's be honest; the guy is probably not visiting remote airfields where a 747 or similar airliner cannot land very often.  We are not talking about Nate Saint or Jim Elliott here by any means.

The Babylon Bee has it right.  There is a powerful being advocating this guy's private jet, but quite frankly it ain't our Savior.  Really, this whole debacle is a great example of "when your desires for stuff get so great, you can't even possibly enjoy it." 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew K's picture

Larry Nelson wrote:

I spent everything I had buying Jim Bakker's slop food buckets:

https://store.jimbakkershow.com/product-category/food/entrees/buckets/

Now my garage is so full of buckets that my car has to sit outside, but I'm prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse, or whatever Bakker's hype says is bound to come!

 

Can't believe you fell for that huckster when there are legitimate ministries that need your donation money.

So glad I found out about Robert Tilton through Youtube. He still has an ongoing work, you know. Refreshing. Though so many other televangelists are just full of hot air, he's still spreading his aroma of good works. 

 

Bert Perry's picture

....is Warren Buffett's admonition to never buy stock in companies that own aircraft.  Not an absolute rule--BJU might find that flying out of Greenville often actually makes it wise to have that plane, and for that matter it could indeed be useful if BJU is in the business of training missionary pilots.  But it can be a good guide to determining whether the stated mission, or the prestige of the leaders, is the real priority in an organization.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

....is Warren Buffett's admonition to never buy stock in companies that own aircraft.  Not an absolute rule--BJU might find that flying out of Greenville often actually makes it wise to have that plane, and for that matter it could indeed be useful if BJU is in the business of training missionary pilots.  But it can be a good guide to determining whether the stated mission, or the prestige of the leaders, is the real priority in an organization.

.....but even if they did, this model of aircraft is beyond any missionary aviation pilot's wildest dreams. 

Here's another 2001 Piaggio P-180 for sale:

http://www.businessair.com/aircraft/turboprop/piaggio/p-180/avanti/piaggio-p-180-avanti-2 

http://www.businessair.com/sites/businessair.com/files/wetzel_avantip180_sn1036-webspec.pdf

Asking price: $1,595,000 (new they're around $7 - $8M).  Note: this one seats 7 in the main cabin, plus 1 in the "belted flushing potty."  (Yes, there's a lavatory onboard: look for the photo in the first link above.)   Add the 2 pilot seats, and it's a 10 passenger.  (BJU's has a somewhat different seating arrangement, seating a total of 11.)

With room for 11 passengers, a 5'9"-height center aisle, and a lavatory, it's in a completely different class of aircraft than the cramped, 4 seat Cessna 172's that are typical of missionary aviation.  Add the fact that it cruises at 366 mph (top speed: 460 mph), versus 140 mph for the Cessna, plus it has a much greater flying range.

If it's cost effective for the travel needs of their administration in running a college of their size, good for them.

Bert Perry's picture

I'd agree it's a bit big for landing on little strips in the Amazon, and I'd further guess that if it's "the" plane for BJU, they're not training missionary pilots to begin with, but I remember about ten years back seeing a lot of push for turbo-props to replace the old boxer engines because jet fuel was a lot more affordable than avgas.  So while a touch big, it actually is not that far from what might be the future of mission aviation.

Plus I remember that "canard" in front makes it very difficult for that plane to stall.  I remember a National Geographic article about Burt Rutan around 1980 that discussed how his "Varieze" plane would revolutionize aviation.  So for safety, it's a definite plus--you just have to remember to make sure you switch fuel tanks in time so the engine doesn't stop.  That's how John Denver died, if I remember right, in one of Rutan's planes.

And a side note; couldn't help appreciating what seemed to be a gentle reminder for "our side" to mind our own manners regarding issues like this.  :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

From Dr. Jones, III's itinerary:

June 9-14, 2018
First Baptist Church
Troy, MI
(Sunday services, FBFI Annual Meeting)

https://www.bju.edu/events/near-you/bob-jones.php

----------------------------

When the Chancellor of the school (and I would guess some other BJU staffers also) are attending the FBFI's Annual Meeting (in Troy, MI, around 700 miles from Greenville), I wonder if that's an occasion for taking the BJU plane.......

Bert Perry's picture

Here's a quick listing of flights from Greenville to Detroit.  I would, again, guess that the justification for the plane is either (a) an alumnus or group of alumni donated it or (b) there are lot of places where you want to go where you'd spend a lot of time in airports getting there.  

I'd also guess you could find flight plans for the plane if you really wanted to via the FAA, unless that's held confidential.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

I'd also guess you could find flight plans for the plane if you really wanted to via the FAA, unless that's held confidential.  

                                            "N29JS - BJU INC (GREENVILLE SC)

This aircraft (N29JS) is not available for public tracking per request from the owner/operator."

-----------------------------------------

Some advantages of having this plane:

1. It's based at http://www.greenvilledowntownairport.com/ , only a two mile drive from the campus.

2. Not being bound to commercial airline schedules.  Arrive at the airport anytime: take off within minutes.

3. No looooooong TSA lines to pass through.  (Now THAT'S a plus!)  

4. Fly to any destination up to about 1,750 miles non-stop--without transferring flights (so, for example, a flight from Greenville to the west coast would need one fuel stop).

5. Lots of luggage?  Not a problem.  It has a 44.15 cubic-foot luggage compartment, plus a closet in the cabin for hanging items (for comparison, a Mercedes S-Class sedan has a 16.3 cubic-foot trunk).

Bert Perry's picture

Who knows what might happen with those who "actively dislike" BJU (to put it mildly) if it was known before the flights occurred?  That noted, given the well-known fundagelical predilection towards frugality, it might be a wonderful PR move to let the world know how it's being used.  (assuming that it makes sense, of course)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

(Sarcasm Alert) While we're on the subject let's go after those supposedly fundamental pastors who drive new cars, own big houses, wear expensive suits, and take foreign vacations and cruises not to mention paid sabbaticals. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

...that there is a fine line between warning of the perils of covetousness and falling into the trap of a mandatory asceticism, to be sure.  That noted, what better way for BJU or others to show they know the difference than to explain the rationale? 

Here's a picture: on my personal blog, I once did a tongue in cheek post on ROI for a $10,000 bicycle--which actually did sound intriguing to me at the time.  The scary thing was that if I assumed that it would get me on a bicycle more often (likely) and that this would positively impact my health (likely) and delay things like stents and bypass surgery (likely given my family history), I actually was able to justify about a $9000 purchase.

Not a fourth one, or not a fourth private jet, but maybe in many areas, we ought to be learning to make this kind of argument.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.