...New Airplane For The Governor?
The positive side of all of this (depending, of course, on your viewpoint) is that Fletcher might end up with a new airplane. His King Air is a 1973 model, military surplus and the oldest of its type still flying, according to state officials who've been angling to replace it with something newer. This is the third time the transponder has failed (techs couldn't find anything wrong with it when it was previously snagged). The steering mechanism in the nose gear also failed earlier this year, causing the plane to veer off a runway. Now the Kentucky media has begun comparing their governor's ride with those of his neighboring counterparts. Apparently most nearby governors use King Airs but the oldest is Ohio's, which was built in 1980. The state police did put replacing the airplane as their tenth priority (out of 22 items) for major capital expenses in the last budget but it was never acted on. Wednesday's incident might move the replacement request up a notch or two, however. "This aircraft is safe, but the fact [is] it's old and it's time we looked more seriously at getting a more safe and reliable aircraft for our governor," Hogan said.