Creflo Dollar Ministries may say they have good intentions with wanting a new $65 million luxury Gulfstream G650 airplane to transport “100,000 pounds of food,” and staff members, but Advanced Air Management’s David Graham isn’t buying it.
The organization and its founder Creflo Dollar have drawn headlines as it faces criticism for an online/crowd funding campaign that’s appealing to 200,000 people to donate $300 or more each toward the purchase of the Gulfstream G650.
“You’re missing the point. The plane is not so Creflo Dollar can get on by himself and fly. They take a ministry team of 10 to 15 people with them. They take thousands of pounds of food and provisions with them when they go around the world. If he’s coming to the New York church, he’ll hop on a Delta flight; if he’s taking 12 people plus 100,000 pounds of food, it’s not that simple,” A media rep told Bloomberg.
Pilot disputes rep
In response, Graham, a Global Express aircraft captain from Rock Hill, S.C., expressed exactly how he felt about the situation and Dollar, who also founded World Changers Church International, in an email sent late March 13 to The Christian Post, saying the reps claims are nonsense.
“The G650 MAX RAMP WEIGHT is 99,600# then add 4,000# for the G650ER. IT CANNOT CARRY 12 PEOPLE AND 1000,000 # OF FOOD AND SUPPLIES LIKE THE COMMENTER SAYS!!!!
CREFLO IS A CROOK AND SCAMMIN (sic) HIS CHURCH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!” an incensed Graham wrote.
The veteran pilot should know. As stated on his LinkedIn profile, Graham mentioned that he has, “an extensive knowledge of the Corporate Aviation Industry. My experience ranges from Chief Pilot to Line Captain with Worldwide Operations. Part 91 and Part 135.”
Advanced Air Management is known for specializing “in the management of long-range business jets owned by individuals and entities desiring the opportunity to offset the cost of ownership through private charter,”
The Post also noted a description of the G650 by its manufacturer, which mentioned the aircraft “flies at more than 92 percent of the speed of sound,” holds about 18 seated passengers and can take off with a maximum weight of 99,600 pounds.
A listing the company had for a pre-owned G650 shows it having a flight record of 1,616 hours and 625 landings since it entered service in last December for $67,950,000.
Adding to the situation is news of the link to the $65 million campaign no longer being functional as of the afternoon of March 13. Instead a message appears saying the link “could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.”
Whether Dollar abandoned his $65 million request or the effort to get a new jet is up in the air, as his media rep couldn’t confirm what’s up with his client. This request appears especially ridiculous when considering that chartering a private jet is nowhere near this expensive, with companies like Jettly offering their flights for only a fraction of this price. Despite this, the rep did say that Dollar’s current mode of travel was via “commercial” flights.
“Whatever he has to [use to travel], you know, commercial transportation,” he said.