Pelosi's Palatial Plane Preference: Piggishness or Republican Pablam?

In surfing around the web I’ve seen much ado about Nancy Pelosi’s request for a larger plane. Hastert, as Speaker, was given use of Military C-20 after 9/11 in the interest of security. Pelosi now gets that plane. But she says that she needs a bigger plane because the C-20 has to stop to refuel on the trip from San Francisco to Washington, D.C… Now this makes perfect sense to me. Especially if the purpose was for increased security, it seems that it’s probably more secure to fly non-stop than to have to land, refuel, and take off again.

But one thing I read claimed that the C-20 does not have to stop to refuel on that trip. So, I go here and see that the range of the aircraft is 4,715 miles (4,100 nautical miles). Given that the distance from SF to DC is just 2,449 miles, does this make her claim false and her reasoning disengenuous?

That is a question. It could very well be that the way the plane is outfitted increases weight and reduces range. If that is the case, I say give her a plane that can make the trip non-stop.

Anyone have the straight dope on this issue, specifically, the particular C-20 in question?

Why is this in the Pit? If you’re looking for strictly factual answers about C-20 range and refueling distance, it seems like it would be better off in GQ. Would you like me to move it there?

As I understand it, she was told that the C-20 would not make it without refueling. She says that her response was that she would fly commercial, or would prefer that they provide her with a plane that would make it non-stop.

Then the right wingnuts decided they’d try to blow this up into a story so that other dipsticks could talk about her “palatial plane preference.”

Apparently, even the White House has deemed this a “silly story.”

So, does that answer your concerns?

Clearly, this marks the beginning of the end of the Democrats control of the House. The American people simply will not stand for this blatant abuse of power which, btw, is also unquestionably unconstitutional. I challenge anyone to show me even one mention of a C-20 aircraft in the constitution. Sic semper tyrannis!

Don’t bother moving it, Giraffe. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to want to use this as a platform to pit Speaker Pelosi for not going to GQ and researching the range of the aircraft on her own in the first place. :rolleyes:

Google is your friend, Madame Speaker.

I still don’t know what the real deal is. The issue seems rather clear-cut to me. I think she should have a private plane. I think that pane should be able to fly her to DC without stopping. If she needs a bigger plane to do that, that’s what she should have and any yammering by reps about "her demands for a bigger fancier plane should be slapped down. If on the other hand the C-20 can handle the trip, I don’t see the need for a larger plane and do not understand her request.

The Speaker is the second person in line for the Presidency. It seems utterly obvious to me that she should have a government plane that is capable of taking her back home without refueling. Hastert did, but of course his home is Illinois, much closer, so this didn’t come up.

Thirty years ago, I’d have said that the Speaker should suck it up and fly commercial. Today, that would be madness. Ms. Pelosi should fly on whatever military plane is equipped to move her and her staff non-stop.

Now, I don’t know details of plane models, but that’s my view of what the policy should be, and it’s a no-brainer.

I erred in choosing the forum, as I had intended to post it in GD. I am interested in the specs of the C-20 and if her particular plane deviates from the general specs. I also wanted to shed light on which party in the debate is the reasonable one. It seemed (seems) to me to clearly be Pelosi. But if her rationale for a larger plane is its non-stop coast-to-coast ability and THAT is factually incorrect, then that should be limned, as well.

If possible, I’d appreciate you moving it to GD. I don’t think anything has transpired yet to make the thread inappropriate in the forum. And it was not my intent to turn this into a flaming in either direction.

Okay. Given the facts that have come out so far, and given that this is in the pit, do you agree that Republicans who have been making a big deal about this and trying to spin it into some sort of outrage are lying, dishonest douchebags?

I am not a pilot, nor an expert, but i have heard that most pilots consider their fuel limit at half the amount it takes. This accounts for delays in landing, redirections and emergencies.

Once again, this is only something I heard once.

I think you might be under the impression that I am a Republican. I’m not. That said, I was prepared to call them douchebags prior to learning about the range of the C-20, as that was the rationale for a larger plane. I think that’d be clear from what I’ve written. If it helps you, I agree with **Bricker. **But the question remains, does she need a larger plane in order to make the flight non-stop. If she does, fine, Repuplicans are douchebags for turning this into an issue. If her plane can, in fact, make the flight non-stop, then her request—based on her rationale as I have understood it—is where the douchbaginess lies. Agreed?

I’ve heard that as well. Also, that the pilot dumps the excess just before landing.

This is now the plural of anecdote.

According to this article, it was never her request:


No problem, I’ll move it to GD for you. If the mods there don’t want it, they can always move it back.

In fact, according to her own statements she was happy to fly commercial.

It’s pathetic that this non-issue has gotten news. The media smear machine that happily pushed bogus stories about Clinton stopping flights at LAX for a haircut seems to be back in operation.

The House Sergeant at Arms regrets this too:

The House Sergeant at Arms website is accessible to the house only.

From what I’ve gathered from this thread so far, it sounds like this is the case:

The C-20, however equipped and whatever that does to its mileage, could make the Illinois-DC flight with plenty of safety margin. The C-20 is capable of making a non-stop DC-SF flight. That means it doesn’t have to refuel, say if the only safe airport to land at in the whole country was in SF. The estimated range figure does not mean that it can make that flight regularly with plenty of safety margin.

However you may feel about Bush, Cheney, Pelosi, etc., it’s obvious to me that you do not expose the President or those in the immediate line of succession to unnecessary risk – like requiring them to use a plane required to fly a distance that is a high percentage of its extreme range.

Also, note that AF1 and similar planes at the disposal of top government officials are usually fitted out as offices. Those ranges are generally figured on the basis of “military trim” – carrying a particular military-materiel payload. So the 4,700 miles figure may not be accurate for the Speaker’s plane.

IMHO :slight_smile: , based on on the information posted by **Left Hand of Dorkness ** and the latest posts, I think this was really Mundane and Pointless…

Oh no, this story will be floating around for years on the hard-right fringe.

Which means GIGO is correct in his assessment.