Tue, Feb 15, 2005
Going To Australia
First it was grounded.
Now, it's been sold. So much for New Mexico Governor Bill
Richardson's 1966 Aero Commander.
The aircraft was sold to an Australian company and will become
part of a corporate fleet, according to state officials. The sales
"They're the best general-aviation airplane ever made. They're
just really tough," said buyer Roger Oeland, president of Aero
Specialties, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
"They're like a three-quarter-ton pickup truck."
Richardson, his administration and the Aero Commander were all
embroiled in controversy last year. As ANN reported, the governor
wanted a bigger, faster plane to carry more passengers and he
planned to spend $4 million on it. But the governor's purchase was
hung up when Attorney General Patricia Madrid ruled it would be
illegal to buy that $4 million plane with money originally
earmarked for road construction.
While the political battle seems to be at an end and the plane
is indeed on its way to Australia, no one associated with the
aircraft on the state level seems to happy to see it go. "They were
almost crying when we left over there," Oeland told the AP. "They
really enjoyed using the airplane and really hated to lose it."
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