I haven't published some of your thoughts in a while, so it was time to air some of your comments/complaints.
The first comes from Cory Duke, an executive at Champion Air, who took offense to my tone in yesterday's blog about the NBA teams flying their charter:
"While I understand the need to propagate the "doom-and-gloom" scenario to the public, there should also be a responsibility on your part to propagate it within reason and certainly within the boundaries of fact. While it is true that we will be closing our doors at May's demise, it has no impact on contractual obligations nor performance. To fulfill our obligations, Champion Air will be paying for all costs accrued to sub-service flights for all teams involved. Of course part of the reason for our closure is the loss of our contract with the NBA, perpetuated by the NBA. I suppose when you spoil such "precious cargo", as you so eloquently put it, they want the next best thing, which is of course not 40-year old tri-engine aircraft. If records were investigated and appropriate individual source interviews conducted (The San Antonio Express is hardly an example of such a credible source) then it would be understood that our on-time performance and mechanical record is second-to-none not only within the ad hoc community, but part 121 operations as a whole. Funny how the Spurs are our only problem children.
While it is regretful that the team had to sleep on a plane (which they probably would have done in-flight anyway) a few items should be noted. First, the chairs on our VIP aircraft are probably more comfortable than the beds us lesser folk have in our homes and second, there is nothing anyone can or could do to obtain hotel rooms when none exist. The Spurs may be a basketball team, but they hold no greater importance in this world than the next guy so good luck getting a hotel to kick out 50 some-odd paying guests to accommodate a basketball team. Life happens, deal with it."
C. M. Duke, Champion Air, Crew Scheduling
In response to my article about Big Brown's owners selling the breeding rights to the horse, reader Dean Rothemeier led me to a recent article in Bloodhorse that disclosed more of the relationship.According to the article, Big Brown's owners have only sold a minority stake in the horse to Three Chimneys Farm owner Robert Clay.
Rothemeier wrote: "The only asset at stake in the deal with Three Chimneys is the horse's breeding rights, so they have only secured a minority of those, judging by what has been released. This still leaves IEAH with a majority share in the horse when it goes to stud, however they will hand over management of the animal to Three Chimneys. This is not untypical of many stallion deals where the original owner does not want to sell the horse away. So, IEAH's fortunes still stand to increase when/if the horse wins the Belmont. They are still "in" the horse, as it were. Whether or not they further syndicate their majority interest in the horse is yet to be seen."