Donald Trump’s Boeing 757 has been refurbished and returned to West Palm Beach




CNN

Whether or not Donald Trump is ready to take another bid for the presidency is up in the air, but his legendary Boeing 757 is getting off the ground.

According to flight data reviewed and analyzed by CNN and aviation experts consulted by CNN, Trump’s plane has spent several hours over the past week flying over a small airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana, possibly testing various upgraded components on its way to Palm Beach. before you go International airport, he arrived there on Wednesday evening. Trump has previously stated that the plane would be in Louisiana for repairs.

The plane will arrive in West Palm Beach less than three weeks before the 2022 midterm elections and the political world is eagerly waiting for Trump to announce another run for the White House. While Trump’s world has felt under siege, with several investigations and legal actions against him, the return of the so-called “Trump Force One” to his headquarters may give Trump fans a jolt.

Not only was the plane’s arrival just 15 minutes from Mar-a-Lago breathtaking, but the 31-year-old jumbo jet had been sitting idle for the four years and many months of Trump’s presidency. after that — he’s preparing to take on his former life as Trump’s biggest campaign supporter. CNN has reached out to a representative of Donald Trump for comment on the plane’s activity and has not yet received a response.

Trump’s plane has made short flights twice in recent days at different altitudes, taking off and landing at Louisiana’s Chennault International Airport. Some flights lasted less than 10 minutes, according to the data, and did not go above 3,000 meters of altitude. Others were longer, 20 to 30 minutes, at altitudes between 9,000 and 23,000 feet.

“It’s common practice after an airplane undergoes upgrades (or other new equipment or general adjustments) for pilots to conduct a series of test flights to ensure safety and performance,” said Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board. . “A series of passes at different altitudes, such as those made in Louisiana, are indicative of standard checks.”

The latest development is that Trump has upgraded the plane he bought from the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen in 2010 to take flight. In March 2021, CNN was the first to report that Trump’s ubiquitous 757 was sitting on a tarmac at a small airport in upstate New York, with one engine shrunk and mechanically grounded. It stayed north of New York City at Stewart Airport in New Windsor, New York, for more than a month before flying to Louisiana on Nov. 1, 2021, according to flight tracking information obtained by CNN.

That flight was allegedly made with enough engines to qualify the plane for a Special Flight Permit, or “Ferry Permit,” from the FAA, several experts told CNN. Permits allow registered aircraft to be accepted for flight. According to FAA data, one reason for issuing a ferry permit is for an aircraft to fly “to a salvage point where repairs, modifications or maintenance are required.”

CNN has asked the FAA for confirmation of the ferry permit for Trump’s plane, which is owned by DJT Operations LLC, and has not yet received the information.

A standard Boeing 757-200 series has about 228 seats. Trump’s custom 757 has 43 seats, along with a master bedroom, guest suite, dining room, VIP area and custom galley. Trump has primarily flown to various destinations in a 1997 eight-seat Cessna 750 Citation X. That plane has a small Trump family crest painted on the fuselage, but lacks the giant Trump name on the outside.

According to flight records, when Trump is not in the Citation, he usually flies other people’s chartered planes.

However, in July of this year, the 757, a regular backdrop for Trump’s campaign appearances and rallies in the lead-up to the 2016 election, appeared in a slick video posted on social media by Eric Trump. In that video the 757 was getting a new paint job in a hangar in Louisiana.

“It’s back,” he wrote.

Under Eric Trump’s Instagram post of the video, the former president said he was teasing the revival of his beloved private jet, saying “Trump Force One” — the plane’s nickname — could be “back.” to the skies in the fall of 2022, or maybe earlier.”

The reveal of the new paint job showed off a cool gold “TRUMP” on the fuselage, and the new addition of an American flag on the tail. The paint job was completed in 26 days, according to Landlocked Aviation’s Tyson Grenzebach, who said in a July interview with the Louisiana Radio Network that his company did a complete “rubbish, sand and paint job” on Trump’s plane.

While the interior, exterior and, as of Wednesday, the sky of Trump’s 757 appear to be updated, according to experts who spoke to CNN, the purpose is to get the plane ready for a major rally or campaign announcement. the former president has yet to confirm.

For Trump, the plane is one of his prized possessions. Shortly after taking ownership he oversaw hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations to his prized possession; Any metal inside the plane (lights, seat buckles, handles, cups, towels) was covered in 24 carat gold.

In March of last year, after CNN’s story about the 757, Trump released a statement confirming that his plane was “in storage” and undergoing repairs.

“When finished, it will be better than ever, and will be used again in future rallies!” Trump wrote at the time.