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Jimmy Pilots Inaugural Flight Into New Jamaica Airport

May 8th, 2010


On Friday Jimmy Buffett flew the first flight into the new Boscobel Aerodrome in Jamaica. He was greeted warmly (no shots fired) by Sports Minister Olivia Grange, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) chairman Mark Hart, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell:

“I just got to say what a thrill it is to come directly into Boscobel; this just makes things so much easier,” Buffett said.

He also commended the processing by immigration officials who were brought in just for the occasion, saying the experience was “lovely”.

But Buffett might have inadvertently disclosed that the expanded facility would be named Ian Fleming Airport – in memory of the creator of the famed James Bond series – who lived and penned several of the James Bond stories just a few miles away at Golden Eye in Oracabessa, now owned by Blackwell.

“It’s the ease with which you come in and go out, which this airport – which I hope will be named Ian Fleming Airport – allows,” said Buffett.

Hart later responded in the affirmative when a reporter asked him if the facility would indeed be named Ian Flemming Airport.

Grange tried to hide the revelation, butting in: “Well, we have to … we’re not going to pre-empt anything this morning. Sufficient to say we will have a name, and it will have a famous name.”

Blackwell referred to the Anguilla airport as being one that facilitates easy access by private aircraft and even smaller commercial planes, and suggested that such a model could be followed.

“When you establish something with ease to come in, it will attract people; it has a big effect on business. Any place that takes the pressure off Manley and Sangster (airports) is going to help,” Buffett said.

Grange thanked Buffett and had special commendation for Blackwell, saying:

“I want to use the opportunity to thank Chris Blackwell. He really must be commended because I remember the very first discussion about expanding the facility here and the opportunity that it will create, and in record time, it’s been a success.”

Listen to a short audio interview with Buffett here.

An interesting sidenote… the aircraft in the picture is a Pilatus PC-12. In the photo caption in the article it says the airplane is “Buffett’s private plane.” If it is indeed his plane, then this is a recent addition to Jimmy’s fleet.

The PC-12 pictured is a 2010 model registered to Pilatus so it’s possible that Jimmy recently bought it or was demoing it. Or it could be neither and he was just chartering it. If you know anything about Jimmy owning a PC-12, please drop us an email.

(Photos by Carl Gilchrist (top) and Alesia Edwards)


Tagged in Aviation, Personal/Family

Buffett Comments on Aviation Route Named After Him

May 5th, 2010


Back in December we told you that Jimmy Buffett had an aviation departure procedure out of Palm Beach International Airport named after him. An article in today’s Orlando Sentinel mainly focusing on Donald Trump also mentions Buffett’s departure and has a quote from him:

Buffett, a licensed pilot, said in a statement released by his publicist that he has flown BUFIT.

“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘What would Orville and Wilbur Wright think about all this,'” he said. “I am honored to be a departure from Palm Beach. I hope it is a path that takes many pilots and passengers on magical voyages.”

Gregory Gish, the air traffic worker charged with naming the spots, was a fan of both Trump’s television show “The Apprentice” and of Buffett’s music, said his former boss, Carl Calcasola. Gish, who retired last year and could not be reached for comment, also named a bit of sky after Trump’s catchphrase, “You’re fired,” which comes out as UFIRD in controller-speak, and another after Buffett keyboardist Michael Utley.

The BUFIT ONE Departure, as it’s called, is used for standardizing routes for aircraft taking off from Palm Beach and departing to the south. Obviously this is a route that Jimmy himself is likely to take often.

The procedure calls for flying to waypoints with the names JIMEY, BUFIT, FINNS, PYRUT, and UTLEY (referring to Michael Utley, Jimmy’s long-time keyboard player). There are also two Trump-related waypoints on the BUFIT ONE: UFIRD and DONLD. Aviation waypoints are five letters long and can only be used once in the United States, hence the funny spellings.

Buffett has kept his airplanes at Palm Beach International for several years. Learn more about Jimmy’s flying and see his airplanes here.

Read the full Sentinel article here.

Update – The TC Palm illustrates the route:


Tagged in Aviation

Buffett to Christen Upgraded Jamaica Airport

May 5th, 2010


Jimmy Buffett will be the first to land at an upgraded airport in Jamaica when he flies his Falcon 900 there on Friday:

The Airports Authority of Jamaica yesterday said singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, and not Warren Buffett, as it had announced Monday, will be the celebrity visiting Jamaica on Friday.

Buffett, of Margaritaville fame, will be here on the special invitation of Chris Blackwell of Island Outpost and will be the first to land in his private jet on the upgraded Boscobel Aerodrome in St Mary, the Airports Authority said.

The facility will be commissioned later this month as the island’s third international airport.

Let’s hope Jamaican authorities welcome him differently than in 1996 when they opened fire on his seaplane as he taxied in the water at Negril. That incident was the inspiration for the song Jamaica Mistaica.

Jimmy has been flying for over 20 years and owns several airplanes. Read more about his aviation adventures here.


Tagged in Aviation

Buffett Touts Herman Wouk in Vanity Fair

March 25th, 2010


In the latest Vanity Fair, Jimmy Buffett writes about his friend Herman Wouk, with whom he collaborated on the musical Don’t Stop The Carnival:

Herman Wouk is one of the wisest men I have ever known. In aviation the best information comes from pilots themselves, in airplanes, not from air-traffic controllers or meteorologists on the ground, in some big air-conditioned office. In his new book, The Language God Talks, Herman sends us all a most valuable pilot report, since it comes from a man whose remaining time on this voyage, he concedes, is rather short. It has been a long time since I sat down and thought about the big questions, such as “Who are we, really?” and “Why are we here?” I have always been more comfortable being tagged a court jester than any kind of philosopher, but I am glad that my old friend keeps his page-a-day commitment to himself, thus extending, in The Language God Talks, a pilot report that we can all use.

Pre-order Wouk’s new book now at Amazon.com.


Tagged in Aviation, Books, Personal/Family

Jimmy Buffett 2009 Year In Review

December 28th, 2009


2009 was another big year for Jimmy Buffett. His summer tour was hugely successful again, he partnered with the Miami Dolphins to rename their home field Landshark Stadium, and a new album dropped in December. And of course there was lots more in between. So here’s our Jimmy Buffett 2009 Year in Review:

January

  • In early January Jimmy made a swing through the Caribbean, making stops at his Margaritaville Cafes in Grand Cayman and Cozumel where he, Mac, and Nadirah played surprise shows
  • Buffett attends Wounded Warriors Project’s Soldier Ride in Key West
  • Spring and summer tour dates began to trickle out in mid-to-late January

February

  • On February 2nd Margaritaville.com confirmed all shows for the Summerzcool Tour
  • Also on February 2nd, Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber Restaurant opened in Honolulu
  • Parrothead license plates become available for South Carolina residents
  • On February 12th, Jimmy played a surprise show at the Margaritaville in Key West
  • About 2 weeks later, Mailboat Records releases 4 digital downloads from the Key West show
  • On Tuesday the 24th, Buffett and the Coral Reefers open the 2009 Summerzcool Tour in Maui
  • On the 26th he plays a private show for the opening of Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber

March

  • Jimmy performs at Netscape founder Jim Clark’s wedding in the British Virgin Islands
  • In late March, we report that Margaritaville Rum is coming soon
  • Also at the end of the month, Coral Reefer Mac McAnally releases a new single: “You First”

April

  • Buffett sends out an April Fool’s joke on his Twitter account saying that the summer tour has been canceled
  • On April 10th, Jimmy called in to Radio Margaritaville to discuss the tour and a new album in the works
  • First rumblings surface about Jimmy entering into a partnership with the Miami Dolphins
  • Spring tour kicks off in Atlanta on April 16th
  • Buffett also plays Dallas, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Tampa in April
  • A planned Today Show appearance by Jimmy in Key West in May is scrapped so that the NBC staff could stay in NYC to cover the Swine Flu outbreak

May

  • It was announced on May 1st that Jimmy had entered into a agreement with the Miami Dolphins to rename their home field “Landshark Stadium”
  • “Summerzcool” is released as a digital download
  • The Fall tour dates are removed from Margaritaville.com, causing mass speculation and frustrating parrotheads on the West Coast
  • On May 8th the Dolphins held a press conference in Miami announcing the stadium’s name change to Landshark Stadium. Jimmy performed at the event
  • Tour resumed on May 14th in Phoenix. Jimmy also plays Las Vegas, Concord CA, and Irvina CA in May
  • Additional Fall tour dates are announced in London, Paris, Orlando, and Charlottsville, VA. The San Diego, Seattle, and Las Vegas shows planned for the Fall are officially canceled

June

  • Trump Entertainment Resorts terminates the agreement with Coastal Development to buy the Trump Marina and Casino and turn it into a Margaritaville-themed casino
  • It’s announced that the first Canadian Margaritaville will open in Edmonton
  • “Margaritaville” referenced on The Colbert Report
  • On June 13th Jimmy performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee
  • i-Encore, a parrothead iPhone app is released in mid-June
  • Tour resumes on June 18th in Camden, NJ. Jimmy also plays in Pittsburgh and Boston
  • In late June, former Coral Reefer Tim Krekel (pictured right) died after a short battle with cancer

July

  • On July 1st, Jimmy Buffett and parrotheads are mentioned on an episode of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
  • Jimmy performs in London on July 5th
  • On July 9th, Jimmy rode along in the Lance Armstrong’s Team Astana car at the Tour de France
  • It was reported that Jimmy Buffett serenaded Walter Cronkite in the weeks before his death
  • In late July Coastal Development sues Trump over the Atlantic City casino deal
  • On the 29th, Jimmy makes a surprise appearance at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, New York
  • Jimmy performs and is interviewed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on July 29th

August

  • Tour resumes in Cincinnati on the 6th. Jimmy also plays Chicago, Indy, Detroit, Atlantic City, Wantagh NY, and East Troy WI in the month of August

September

  • On the 2nd, Politico reports that Jimmy Buffett was at the White House
  • Jimmy speaks and performs at a memorial for Walter Cronkite in NYC on the 9th
  • In mid-September the Orlando show scheduled for November 14th was removed from Margaritaville.com’s tour dates page with no explanation given
  • Jimmy lends his boat to three combat veterans
  • Prior to the Dolphins Monday Night Football game on the 21st, Jimmy performs outside of the stadium
  • A new line of iced tea by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is announced
  • On September 30th it was announced that Jimmy had joined the effort to restore Miami’s Marine Stadium, the venue for the Live By The Bay show from 1985.

October

  • On October 16th the Margaritaville on Grand Cayman was robbed
  • Jimmy plays for the National Association of Convenience Stores in Las Vegas
  • Jimmy performs at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, CA on October 24th

November

  • We reported on the 3rd that “Margaritaville” had been trademarked for video game use
  • On the 7th, Jimmy played a show on St. Barth’s for the 60th anniversary of Le Select
  • The CMA Awards were held on the 11th and Coral Reefer Mac McAnally won Musician Of The Year for the second straight year
  • Jimmy plays final shows of the Summerzcool Tour in Charlottsville VA, Toronto, Uncasville CT, and New York City
  • On the morning of the 23rd, Jimmy appeared on the Today Show to discuss his upcoming album “Buffet Hotel”

December

  • Jimmy’s new album “Buffet Hotel” is released. It’s Jimmy’s first studio album since “Take The Weather With You” in 2006
  • On the 9th, Jimmy and the Zac Brown Band tape an episode of CMT Crossroads in Nashville
  • We reported on the 13th that Buffett had acquired two new airplanes
  • On the 17th, we reported that an aviation departure procedure out of Palm Beach International Airport in Florida had been named after Jimmy
  • We report on the 18th that a job listing for a General Manager at a Margaritaville location in Nashville had been posted
  • On Christmas Day, Jimmy celebrated his 63rd birthday

Tagged in Albums, Aviation, Boats, Business Empire, Casinos, Charitable Causes, Concerts, Coral Reefers, Downloads, In The News, Interviews, Landshark Stadium, Margaritaville Cafes, Margaritaville Casinos, Parrotheads, Personal/Family, Politics, Pop Culture References, Radio Margaritaville, Rum, Singles, Site News, Special Appearances, Television, Touring, TV Appearances, Video Games, Year In Review