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Owner: Irwin Mark Jacobs, Trustee

Joan Klein Jacobs, Trustee

Maker: Bombardier, Inc.

Model: BD-700-1A10

Year: 2000

Comparable asking price: $28.5 million

Bombardier’s big BD-700 Global Express is built to fly long distances at high speeds, whisking its complement of well-heeled VIPs to business and leisure destinations worldwide. This one is always at the disposal of Qualcomm founder and La Jolla billionaire Irwin M. Jacobs and wife Joan. It frequently flies out of its base at North County’s McClellan-Palomar Airport to destinations including Napa Valley, Aspen, Miami, and Los Cabos. Photographers have also spotted it touching in Portugal, Austria, the Netherlands, and China.


Owner: Chargers Football Company

Alex Spanos

Maker: Gulfstream Aerospace, Inc.

Model: Gulfstream V


Year: 1997

Comparable asking price: $27 million

The big blue and gold helmet with a lightening bolt that’s painted on the plane’s tail makes it clear that this is the flagship of Alex Spanos, octogenarian San Diego Chargers owner recently diagnosed with dementia. The G-V is an earlier version of the G550. Standard seating is 16, but most G-Vs have been modified for fewer seats. Cruise speed is 488 knots, and range is 5800 nautical miles. The plane is frequently seen landing at the former Jimsair private air terminal on Lindbergh Field, where it picks up the Spanos family and friends for weekend trips to away games.


Owner: South Seas Helicopter Co.

Maker: Canadair (now Bombardier)

Model: Challenger CL-600-2B16

Year: 2005

Comparable asking price: $20 million

This 12-seat Challenger belongs to 84-year-old Edmund Gann, a Rancho Santa Fe multimillionaire who made his fortune in the business of tuna fishing. He cashed out of that business in 2000 when he sold his 25 percent interest in Chicken of the Sea to former partner Thai Union International, Inc., of Bangkok. A sailor who belongs to the San Diego Yacht Club, Gann is well known for running a successful string of Thoroughbred racehorses.


Owner: Copley Press, Inc.

David Copley, chairman, president, and CEO

Maker: Gulfstream Aerospace

Model: Gulfstream IV (G-IV)

Year: 1990

Comparable asking price: $17 million

Perhaps the best known of San Diego–based executive jets, this sumptuously equipped 12-seater has spacious galleys forward and aft, both with microwaves; a 20-inch TV up front; a 12-inch screen in back; RCA VCR player; and a DVD player with an iPod jack, along with a Sony ten-CD changer. The plane has been advertised for sale on the Internet.

Owner David Copley, who has had a heart transplant, also installed a Tempus Med-Alert system with portable patient monitor, according to the listing by Camarillo-based airplane broker Bloomer deVere Group Avia, Inc. So far no apparent takers, but in the meantime, the plane has remained busy. Last summer it winged its way to Istanbul, Turkey, where David Copley, longtime Union-Tribune society writer Burl Stiff, and other friends vacationed. It also has recently flown to and from the Caribbean.


Owners: Sempra Energy, Petco Animal Supplies, 14 other fractional owners

Maker: Raytheon Aircraft Company

Model: Hawker 850XP

Year: N/A

Comparable asking price: $11.9 million

Powered by two Honeywell TFE731-5BR turbojets, the Hawker 850XP is 51 feet 2 inches long, with a wingspan of 54 feet 4 inches. Typical options include an Aircell ST3100 digital airborne telephone, an Airshow 410 system and cabin briefer, and Pulselite system, which pulses exterior aircraft lights for improved visibility and collision avoidance.


Owner: Jeffrey S. Moorad


Currently co-owner Arizona Diamondbacks

Future co-owner San Diego Padres

Maker: Canadair (now Bombardier)

Model: CL-600-2B16 Challenger

Year: 1988

Comparable asking price: $7 million

Sporting twin General Electric CF34 series turbofan jet engines that each generate 9140 pounds of thrust, this big bird seats ten in cozy comfort amid luxurious amenities, including an Airshow 400 video display that provides passengers with real-time aircraft location, flight time, nearby points-of-interest, air speed, altitude, and temperature information, as well as safety briefings and many other customer-specified items. The exterior boasts a racy blue underbody with a blazing white side from head to tail. Last year, it was listed for sale though J. Mesinger Corporate Jet Sales, Inc., of Boulder, Colorado, but the listing was later pulled. Moorad is frequently spotted in Palm Springs and often flies between Phoenix, San Diego, and his home on the beach in Orange County.


Owner: Gerald Parsky

Maker: Cessna

Model: 525A

Year: 2003

Comparable asking price: $5.6 million

This twin-engine CJ2 features Williams Rolls FJ44 turbofans (with paddle thrust reversers) and is a stretch version of the original Cessna Citation, with a length of 47.7 feet and wingspan of 49.5 feet. Noted for secretive financial wheeling and dealing in the Caribbean, Parsky, chairman of Aurora Capital Group and a major figure in the Republican Party, is a former member of the University of California Board of Regents and onetime top operative for George W. Bush. Wife Robin is premier horsewoman. He was recently named by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a new 12-member commission to come up with ways to enhance tax collection. Based at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, Parsky’s Cessna is available for charter at Jet Methods, Inc.


Owner: Texas Television, Inc.

Michael McKinnon, president

Maker: Israel Aircraft


Model: Westwind 1124A

Year: 1983

Comparable asking price: $2.4 million

Michael McKinnon, who owns San Diego’s KUSI-TV and has expressed tentative designs on the Copley-owned Union-Tribune, which is now for sale, plies the airways in this Israeli-made Westwind II. The plane is the descendent of a line that Aero Commander designed in the United States in 1963. Deliveries began in 1965, and the company was sold to Israel Aircraft Industries by North American Rockwell three years later. Varieties of this particular model were built between 1980 and 1987. McKinnon sometimes uses the plane to visit the family’s broadcasting operations in Texas.



Jon S. Gilbert, president and CEO, Blue Sky Network

Maker: Eclipse Aviation Corp.

Model: EA500

Year: 2008

Comparable asking price: $1.9 million

A pioneer in satellite communications, Jon S. Gilbert runs Blue Sky Network, which according to a recent news release “links enterprises to personnel and assets anywhere on Earth over the Iridium satellite network.” Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, built the EA500, a very light jet powered by two custom Pratt and Whitney Canada engines. Former Microsoft employee Vern Raburn founded Eclipse in 1998 with the idea of building small, six-seat, fuel-efficient executive jets of relatively low cost for wealthy business types. The company tumbled into bankruptcy last November, owing $1 billion to its creditors, allegedly because of high production costs and bad management moves. Among the losers were New Mexico taxpayers, thanks to a $13 million investment of state funds made by Democratic governor Bill Richardson.

In an interview last week, Gilbert said that the jet, which he bought last March, is now being chartered out. “Since I’m not certified to fly it, I’ve got it in a charter pool,” he said.

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Barbarella Fokos Feb. 11, 2009 @ 3:46 p.m.

Listen to Matt Potter talk about this story with Chip Franklin tomorrow morning on KOGO: http://kogo.com/pages/chipfranklinmornings.html Live streaming!


spudboy Feb. 12, 2009 @ 5:22 a.m.

"Then there were the General Motors and Ford CEOs who had to unload their companies’ private planes and drive to Washington to beg for billions in taxpayer assistance"

Great story, buy slight correction Matt. Ford never asked for any government handouts, just GM and Chrysler.


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