Elite Air has added two more aircraft based in Houston, Texas, to its charter certificate. A newly refurbished Legacy 600 became available for charter in October, and a second Houston-based Citation X joined the company’s portfolio this month. The new heavy and super-midsize jets join the Citation X Elite Air added in August at William P. Hobby Airport.
“Growing our fleet in the heart of the country provides an excellent complement to our extensive capabilities on the East Coast,” Elite Air Marketing Director AJ Becker said. “We can now cover more U.S. states than ever before.”
The Legacy 600 offers passengers the ultimate in flexibility with three separate cabin zones, free wireless internet and a class-leading, 1,000-pound capacity luggage compartment. The aircraft is considered by many to be the most cost effective jet in its class, while offering outstanding operational performance by leveraging its high payload capacity, steep approach and high altitude landing and takeoff capabilities.
“It’s the best bang for the buck,” said Captain George Harpole, who has nearly 5,000 hours in type. “And this particular aircraft is absolutely perfect. It’s outfitted to the nines.”
Harpole brings nearly two decades of experience in both the airlines and charter to the Elite Air team. The veteran will be joined in the cockpit by Captain Jared Wilds and First Officer Brandon Fletcher, the three-man crew allowing for greater charter availability and long-distance flight capability.
Other features of the Houston-based Legacy 600 include 3,400 nautical miles of range, seating for up to 13 passengers, unlimited free wireless internet access and talk and text, cashmere carpeting throughout, interior and exterior refurbishment in 2013-14, iPads and Bose headsets at every seat, more than 200 movies and a custom espresso maker.
The new super-midsize Citation X, which cruises at speeds up to 700 mph (Mach 0.92), offers a nonstop range of 3,750 miles at 51,000 feet max cruising altitude, a 30 x 5.5 x 6-foot cabin and 82 cubic feet of pressurized baggage space, was recently refurbished and has an immaculate maintenance record, according to Captain William Van Scoyoc. Scoyoc has more than 4,000 hours in the aircraft and more than 10,000 hours of total time.
“The beauty of this aircraft is she is reliable, and she holds a number of records for short runway landings and nonstop 135 flights,” Van Scoyoc said. “We’ve done a North Atlantic crossing in three hours and 10 minutes.”
Van Scoyoc, a former military pilot who is dual rated in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, will be joined in the cockpit by Matt Prince. He said a third pilot will be brought on in the near future so the crew can fly longer trips.
One of the greatest advantages to the Citation, according to Van Scoyoc, is its charter friendly owner, who’s willing to reschedule his own trips to accommodate customers.
“He is real big on existing customers and repeat business,” Van Scoyoc said. “He wants to make sure to take care of each customer.”