Yesterday, businessman Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for running a lengthy scam that swindled folks out of $300 million. Pearlman is best known as having founded popular boy bands Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, and living large. You might also recall that he had his fingers in the aviation business.
Pearlman's Trans Continental Airlines misadventure is well documented, but he was also involved in another industry failure. Remember Florida-based Planet Airways, which operated Boeing 727 charters, including for the US Department of Defence?
I covered the Planet saga for Flight premium news service Air Transport Intelligence. It was part of my "third-tier airlines" beat. Back then, Planet co-investor and CEO Peter Garrambone said - in what now seems like a rather humorous comment - that the carrier had "endured a difficult certification process that required extensive flight crew tests and significant capital investment to meet the tough standards required to operate in the United States".
Tough standards maybe, but Planet nonetheless got the green-light from the DOT to operate service. Check out FedSpending.org's breakdown of Planet's government contract. The carrier's operating certificate was suspended in 2005.
Read the complete post at http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/runway-girl/2008/05/a-planet-of-pearl-swindling.html
Thu, May 22 2008 5:04 PM
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Filed under: Air Transport, US Air Transport, Backstreet Boys, Department of Defense, Regulatory, 'N Sync, Military, Lou Pearlman, DOD, Trans Continental Airlines, Planet Airways