I am going to make this almost an outline form of concept posting - there are many, many, variables in such an undertaking -- but, now is the time to start the discussion and planning.
We have all seen the events of the past 2-3 weeks unfold around us: Texas re: Harvey, Florida re: Irma, Mexico re: 8.1 mag earthquake, and yet to come/maybe: Jose "near Florida" and those yet to follow... AND,
We have also seen the ungodly/evil ways of our fellow man in our "airline companies", stores selling needed wares, etc... Price gouging is a fact of life here in the USA now - and, no one is going cure it or change it anytime soon! $6,400 for a single seat from Miami to Atlanta, GA... $3-5000 per seat for Miami to NY,NY and over to Dallas...and, who knows what others didn't get reported in the news!
And, now, we have seen the "local officials" sit on their hands and rotate while rome burned...ie: just now, 2 or 3 days to late, ordered the MANDATORY evac of all peoples out of their pre-selected "zones", which is now dumping 650,000 more people on those already clogged, parking lots, called roads out of the danger area. As well as the Gov saying he won't change the flow of those roads so ALL LANES could be used for northbound travel...ballox's all!
And, even IF you don't live where anything has happened (as yet), many of us have loved ones and elders living in these warm climates - who may not have the ready means to "make the trip" needed to save their lives!..
What AG and I are in continued discussions about is a dedicated and committed "get out of dodge" method or service...that operates in conjunction with other users/charter customers of the aircraft.
This situation in Florida is a perfect example of WHY such a service is so needed! First, it stops the price gouging for evac travel in it's tracks! Second, it removes the issues of traffic jams, no gas available, danger of wrecks/idiots, danger of unkn gangs praying on loved ones, the need for a car in the first place - or, being unable to drive anyway, and allows actions to be taken without "you" being present in person. That is a BIG mouth full, eh?... What about those "special needs" issues too? Like 02 required, like over $10k in cash/PM's to be hauled, some collectibles to be hauled, or even guns to be carried....all of which are impossible for the most part with airlines/trains, etc...thanks to DOT and TSA and DHS et al. Not to mention, mom want to take "tabby" or "doggie" along too...(as long as they don't declare open warfare at 30,000 ft, eh?..).
AND...many of us have tax issues to consider too - or, we take a bath without water or soap... How about those that have "mega earnings" locked away in cripto currencies or other corners/stash where movement earns the spotlight, etc..
What we are thinking of is based on a 501c3 charity entity, which would have the ability to then perform the needed "service" after/during donation function(s) with a side-service of private escrow to allow prior payments/deposits/donations to be held apart until needed. This escrow function could take the form of PM's in a lock-box if needed. The purpose of this escrow function is to allow more people to access this sytem, even those that can't immediatly drop $10k or more into the hat; but, could over some period of months/years attain that level in readiness.
The "generalized flow" of how this might work is:
"Charter donating members" put a minimum of $20k in the hat - this is covered by a special letter of donation, with some special caveats noted.
"Follow on donating members" put a minimum of $10k in the hat - with a different form of donation letter (IRS document)
There will be a form that places the "intent" of these making the donations on file - ie: that their "get out of dodge" service is retained for their own use or it's pledged to a family member or friend at another location.
There will be a single aircraft to start with - and, others added as funds become available, until there are 2 in the "Eastern USA", 1 in the "Mid-Continent USA", and 1 in "Western USA". Should even more funds become available then a possible 5th larger aircraft aircraft will be added. All of these will have a minimum of 6 passenger seats available for the use of the member or designee, upon arrival at the agreed airport of use for pick-up. Any non-jet aircraft later purchased shall have a minimum number of 5 passenger seats available.
Each such "pick-up" shall incur basic, lowest possible, hourly-based donation acceptable, which shall be considered a common donation to the charity upon arrival at the desired destination. A portion of this total, being 50% or more of this total, shall be sent/conveyed to the charity BEFORE any dispatch occurs. The remainder then calculated shall be donated to the charity within the following 15 days.
The "Charter donating members" shall have a divided minor interest in each aircraft added, ie: become a minor fractional owner thereof. Such position shall be acknowledged by way of a "deduction" of $1,000 from their tax-deductible amount so rendered. This position shall entitle these Charter members to use the aircraft otherwise from any "get out of dodge" mission, at the lowest possible rate due such an ownership interest (which shall be protected in any and all lease back agreements entered into by the charity, and/or majority ownership.
Further, Charter donating members, shall have a pre-paid block of hourly usage for their "get out of dodge" mission, should it ever be noticed/used. This will equal approximately 800 air miles of travel, one-way. This pre-pay usage may be assigned or transferred between any member of record; it may not be sold or assigned to a non-member entity without the approval of the charity.
There shall be a limit upon the number of Charter donating memberships applied to any single aircraft; which shall be 30 in number. Such Charter donating members shall have a priority for any get out of dodge mission above all others quaied up as noticed, under the FIFO method. Upon there being 20 or more Charter members registered, notice will be given that this status or class of member ship will be closed upon 30 or 60 days hence - as decided by management. Thereafter, only Follow On memberships will be registered for a maximum of a matching number. Thereafter, another aircraft will be added and new Charter members will be registered for it, repeated as above. Upon the filling of the 4th aircraft Charter members positions greater than 20 - the planning for a larger aircraft, 5th aircraft, and/or a non-jet aircraft will be performed and implemented as decided.
Should a major demand for service occur, like with Harvey or Irma - then the charity shall cause the repositioning of added aircraft to reduce the demand back-log and to allow service of those members not in the Charter donating member class in a more timely manor. The Charity retains the right to limit the outbound leg length of any get out of dodge mission to maximize aircraft productivity for all members benefit. This limiting of distance shall not injure anyones' safety, and shall never be less than 800 miles from departure point if requested, closer in destinations shall be honored if so requested by the member/assignee traveling. These limitations/considerations have no meaning during normal usage of the aircraft.
Follow on donating members shall have no ownership interest, nor shall they have any pre-paid usage rights. They shall donate $200 more per hour of usage than that amount insured to the Charter donating members level. Their "get out of dodge" mission shall be flown AFTER any charter member in active notice for like/equal service. Once so "bumped" by a Charter member, this specific Follow on member's mission shall assume the priority of a charter members' mission until flown/satisfied under FIFO basis. (ie: you can only be "bumped" once).
In the matter of an escrow for ready funds to be applied to the donation for the get out of dodge flight requested: As the intended aircraft is a Westwind-I or II model, with 7 normal seats for passengers, the discounted rate per hour used to calculate the donation for usage portion (and, for any non-emergency usage desired) will be approximatly $2,200 for follow on members and $2,000 for charter members per flight hour (these rates will be subject to change due to variable costs of fuel and crews, both up and down accordingly) There will be minor allowances for taxi, climb and any holding encountered, which will add slightly to the overall time calculated. This aircraft is at the bottom of the lists when comparing costs to operate jet aircraft. The possible addition of a non-jet aircraft will be addressed/considered within the management and charity entity once basic operations are established.
For purposes of this example, we will use a simple "get out of dodge" route which requires 2 hr in each direction; down empty, return full, end. This results in say 2.4 hr of usage, which requires the payment of $2,400 minimum before departure for a Charter member and $2,640 for a Follow on member - AND, the remaining equal balance within 15 days of arrival at the destination. Such amounts can be charged to most credit cards. However, if a member desires to establish a "pre-flight order" amount on deposit with the charity - this can be accomplished to any value in increments of $1,000 (or, 1 oz of Au, or, 50 oz of Ag with conversion at the spot value on the day of flight). Such escrowed funds/PM's shall not be considered a donation until used as intended - nor, shall they be interest bearing deposits. Return upon demand shall be made within 7 business days. To fully pre-deposit such a mission profile, it would take $5,280 or $4,800 respectively. Such a "deposit" could be made over any time frame up until usage.
There are two sides to owning and using a jet: Fixed costs and Variable costs. The variable costs are easy to understand...this is where your direct costs are for fuel, engine reserves, landing fees/ATC fees (Canada/overseas), etc. The Fixed costs include such items as Maintenance, taxes, hanger, crew training, depreciation, office/management/marketing, etc. With most normal fractional ownership agreements, such small interest owners are liable for their % share of all fixed costs, along with any variable costs incurred during usage. In this group agreement, we anticipate NO such levies along the way due to the majority owner and charity entity intend to "lease back" the aircraft to a FBO for normal charter usage when not scheduled for member use. This will generate income/revenue which can "off-set" these normal cost levies. In any case, the sole party responsible for fixed costs shall be the majority owner(s) and/or the Charity entity - never the members individually or as a class.
These aircraft are not new - they are used aircraft. They will cost an average of $400,000 each and will require two pilots to fly them anywhere. Only North American operations are planned for the first 2 years - operations into the Caribbean region may come sooner than any deep into South America. Truly international operations may have to wait until the larger aircraft is added, and even then, may take some time to establish due to extra requirements and extra crew training, etc. The Westwind aircraft are very "marginal" for any Pacific islands operations - again, the larger aircraft will fill this void when available. Alaska and Canada are included in the original NA area of coverage.
All efforts will be made to monitor possible "get out of dodge" missions due to weather - within the management and charity itself. As such events are seen developing, there will be some contacts made with members listing such areas in their intent form - ie: heads up. As these flight missions are in the "stand-by" category, prior charter schedules will have to be covered by using other/farther away aircraft. The "priority" afforded the Charter members shall cause such "charter" bookings to be canceled in their favor when required. Short delays, of up to 4 to 6 hours from notice until takeoff may cover such issues with members' consent. Remember, as long as the pilots are awake, the aircraft can fly longer hours per day than airlines can - per FAA regs.
The charity entity and management shall maintain a full service/scheduling web site for members use, and a no-charge telephone number. There shall be an "after hours" contact system also, with a live person available within 1 hr.
This is an attempt to melt-together two different usage profiles, with economic advantages for all involved, while furnishing a safety net for loved ones in dangers' way. Along the way, we will make available a very low cost private jet for short trip charters and for the same service to our members at a reduced rate. Many of us are "private people", we tend to be self-responsible for the curves that life throw us. Our govt and TSA have make air travel on airlines almost unbearable - and, infringe upon our Constitutional rights of free passage. In this era of asset forfeiture your rights end when ever "something" is found in your pocket! AND, during a disaster or unexpected travel, carrying some cash is a must for many of us... IF you are under a MANDATORY evac order, I wouldn't want to leave ANYTHING of value behind, that could be carried!. Not to mention dogs, cats, snakes, guns, etc... The Follow on Members are enjoying a true STAND-BY priority that the general public can't purchase at any price...for about $15k, you/your family are ready to meet any challenge that comes your way, they also have access to rapid transportation at a discounted from retail rate. The Charter members enjoy this same stand-by service with a further level of priority, and, have the privilege of the true "owners level" costs for regular usage, without further levy for any costs.
AND ALL of this comes with a reasonable tax advantage/write-off when handled thru the charity.
The member or assigns controls the entire planes' capacity/seats, there will be 6/7 available - fill them within reason and safety. The PILOT's word is final when it comes to safey, etc. In cases like Irma, down in FL right now...say the assigns is only mom and day with doggy...they can invite friends to go with them without any more/added costs! Or, they can offer them to acquaintances for some form of barter/remuneration - offsetting some of the specific costs. This is the flexibility of private flights!
Because of the ability to "assign" your get out of dodge free trip, we can easily end up with 20-30 members in NY,NY with their loved ones in Florida telling us to go there and bring them out to safety. This can be handled on an individual flight for each member's order; or, it may evolve into some "shared flights" with the associated costs then shared as well. In an extreme event, we could end up with 100 people to move to safety. This is where the ability to "move" more aircraft into the area and set up around the clock operations can shine. Using the 800 mile limitation mentioned before, and combined loads of say 5 people/things/animals, using all 4 aircraft - such loads could be moved within 24 hours of clock time!.. otherwise, only one aircraft could take as long as 7 days to move 5 ea for 100 total. (20 flights, 4 hr/each, 12 hr days for flight crew/3 trips per day...7 days total).
With the minimum level of registered members for the first aircraft - then the first aircraft can be operational in about 90-120 days, perhaps sooner. It would seem logical to place it in the "southeastern USA" until hurricane season is over. There are many other possibilities for evac orders or desires (earthquake, large fires, ice storms, civil unrest, etc.). Until ALL the members needs are fulfilled, the aircraft would remain on stand-by in the local area - not yo-yo'ed between charter work and members needs. The members always come first when called/needed.
What is peace of mind worth? Knowing that a simple phone call will solve all the problems that millions of people are facing tonight down in Florida. And, in view of how our airlines treated folks down there - not at all that "expensive" when you factor in the 6 or 7 seats being "included". Once you remove yourself from the area - all the worries about drinking water, roofs, safety, food end. With a "paced" movement plan, there is no reason that "mom and dad and doggy" can't be brought to your door for a nice, safe, visit. Only the coming days will prove the final outcome; but, with these monster mandatory evac orders being delayed until today are going to leave 10's of 1,000's of people stuck in traffic jams and out of gas when a CAT 4 hurricane hits them on the door knob!.. This is life threatening due to idiots in command of Govt. and people to take responsibility for themselves!
For anyone interested in discussing details and ideas - please use: kd7dcr[at]netscape[dot]com off list.
Your idea is fabulous. I've lived in Ley West for 37 yrs and have owned my house for 30 yrs during which time I have constantly improved and upgraded it, doubling the number of screws securing the roof just last month. My lady and I have ridden out every storm during that time without ever considering evacuation for a storm. As Irma approached we conducted our usual well rehearsed preparation ritual, laying in supplies and deploying metal shutters confident we could weather yet another one even though it was a monster, because the forecast track took it over Miami and up Florida' East Coast, presenting Key West with the "weaker" western side. Of course over the course of several days this track "drifted" westward in small increments until the projection took it up the center of the state 75 miles from Key West.
Our friends relayed evacuation horror stories that made us comfortable with the decision to stay and our experience with previous storms that being there in the immediate aftermath absolutely helps to minimalize damage, made us comfortable with our decision and we retired early last night to be ready for final prep for today's onslaught.
Usually I'm a sound sleeper but a woke at midnight to compulsively check the storms track where I was dismayed to see the track had once again moved substantially to the West now presenting our 4x5 mile island with its deadly northeastern quadrant. Knowing we would have to drive East into the storm to get to Florida City and out of the keys up the Turnpike we threw some underwear and tshirts in a bag and left at 2:00AM blasting east into the feeder bands in the dark - harrowing.
We were able to find a pet friendly hotel outside Orlando were I am now typing this reply. If the damage is even moderately severe no one will be allowed into the Keys for weeks, resident or not. Things I could have saved will be gone and all damage greatly exacerbated. Before we even arrived at our hotel I was plotting with other evacuees to procure a boat In Miami so we could return without having to seek permission. Although we will probably be successful, I think your idea is much better and would personally be interested in your idea, my friends too.
Please check your personal messages.
I salute your personal level of effort to survive - sadly, today, not all consider such actions as needed and choose to "wait for the Govt" to do "for me".
BTW: Key West is now reported to "be under water" per NWS reports.
With your location, being in the Key's, I'll check up on a few things and be ready to converse.
There are multi facets to this plan, yet to be explored.
Your "end of the world" is unique. Long, narrow, single roadway between outposts of humanity.
You only have 2 airports of note down there: Key West muni @ 4,800 ft long and Marathon @ 5,000 ft long (BOTH of these are marginal for the westwind series - not enough when loaded). The nearest usable ones for intended jet operations are Homestead muni and Opalocka on the mainland. This means you would need to move "up" to them for pickup by your own means.
With "others" interested, in the same area - you might take a look at a different class of aircraft, ie: multi eng and turbo props - these could use those two actual "keys" airports... In any case, you would end up leaving a POV at that point, which might be a write-off in today's case/event.
I'll address these different approaches off the PM addy.
thanks for well wishes. Just heard from "Bubbas" who stayed in Key West-wind did not exceed 100mph and no storm surge too. Once again Cuba did an excellent job knocking the stuffing out of a bad ass hurricane. BTW runway extended recently Delta operation of 737s daily.
Roger all ... is that Key West that was extended?... need about 6,200 ft for balanced field length, for full load usage at high temps (80 deg f. or higher.)
Just noted some photos of your "main roadway/causeway"...looks FUBAR'ed. Your "boat around the corner" trip might be the "only way", eh?... The timing might be Monday if you can arrange, or early AM on Tuesday... You might find very different levels of damage along the entire length of all keys.
I'll stand-by for your direct contact.
Stay safe - remain upright.
get hammered once again Maria this time
The idea of coventuring a gently used jet or prop job for emergency bug out is feasible and economical