Friday, August 29, 2008
Network of Amateur Aero Sleuths not surprised by McCain's VEEP pick.
by Steve Douglass
Updated: 8:13 PM
Savy aeronautical enthusiasts and bloggers were not surprised (as was the mainstream media) by presidential candidate's John McCain's VP pick (Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin) because they were tracking VIP flights into Dayton ( and surrounding airports) via various flight-tracker websites.
Spotters at Dayton area airports jotted down executive jet tail numbers and then ran them on the Internet (on flightware.com) to see where they originated from.
One executive jet in particular ( landing at Middletown) caught the attention of spotters. It was sporting the tail number: N222GY and was identified as a Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream IV (twin-jet) which had originated from Hook Field, municipal airport in Washington State.
The aircraft is registered to an entity called Gypsy Two LLC. It shares an address with a tax exempt organization called the Dean Weidner foundation. Dean Weidner is a Republican donor.. and a man named William Weidner, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands corp, a major McCain supporter.
Flight plans filed by the pilot also showed that the aircraft had flown in the previous day from Anchorage, Alaska.
The history of the aircraft also shows it was in Flagstaff, AZ recently and McCain's advance man Arthur Culvahouse was spotted in Juneau, Alaska on various occasions over the last six weeks.
Put two and two together ( an aircraft originating in Alaska and flying cross country to near Dayton) and a spotter's report of a woman in her 40s disembarking (and being met by Secret Service) and it adds up to Gov. Palin.
When a worker at the Flight Service Station was shown a photograph of Gov. Palin by a member of the news media (who was reading the reports on various political blogs) he confirmed the woman in the photo was Palin.
Reports now indicate two aircraft landed at Middletown, one with the Gov. on board (flying from Arizona) and another aircraft (N222GY)-from Anchorage) transporting the Palin family who appeared ather side during McCain's announcement.
Why land at Middletown and not Dayton ? Apparently McCain's people read the many blog posts about aircraft tail number N222GY (and knowing it would quickly be spotted landing at Dayton where the media was watching) decided it was best to land somewhere off the press's radar.
However, through real time tracking available on flightware.com, bloggers and spotters easily tracked the aircraft to Middletown.
- Steve Douglass
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:40 AM