Topples Bishop Oyedepo as owner of largest fleet of private jets
Former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has topped the chart of top 10 private jet owners in Nigeria with the acquisition of a brand new Gulfstream G650 model worth about $72 million (N11.5 billion). ENCOMIUM Weekly’s check revealed that it’s the most expensive private jet among wealthy Nigerians who are privileged to have these expensive toys. The latest acquisition brings to four planes in his fleet.
We gathered that the aircraft, which was registered in Dubai with special specifications, is the fourth in his fleet, as the former governor already has three old Dornier aircraft which he acquired from Aero Contractors at an estimated $3 million (N480 million).
According to our source, a Dornier aircraft is used for charter services as Sheriff recently obtained an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for his airline, Skybird. But a source said the Gulfstream was acquired for Sheriff’s personal use.
An operator who is aware of the purchase described the aircraft as top of the range, adding that it was unlikely that the former governor would deploy it for commercial service.
A Nigerian pilot and chief executive officer of an airline that provides charter services, said by registering the aircraft overseas, Sheriff had denied Nigeria taxes and import duty on the aircraft.
He added that no Nigerian pilot or engineer would be employed to operate or work on the aircraft because with the foreign registration, only pilots and engineers licensed in the United Arab Emirates would be authorised to operate and service the aircraft.
“By registering the aircraft overseas, he has avoided tax and import duty, which he should pay to a country where he is a citizen and from which he made the money which he now spends on a foreign crew,” he said.
The source also explained that Sheriff would also be paying overseas facility managers for the maintenance of the aircraft and would also pay charges to the company under which the aircraft was registered overseas.
The main price of the aircraft is $65 million but other charges could have raised it to $72 million, and according to US-based Forbes magazine, the Gulfstream G650 has an order book of 200 customers throughout the world.
“A $65 million price tag doesn’t seem to detract from the fascination with this incredible airplane. While the rest of the business aviation industry is battling the depressed economy, there seems to be a buoyant market in the US and abroad for this ultra-high-priced, high-performance jet.
“And why not? With a top speed of 92 per cent of the speed of sound (arguably the fastest civilian jet in the world), room for a basketball team, 8,000-statute-mile range and some of the most sophisticated avionics rivalling nearly anything in the sky, this airplane is perfect for doing business on a global scale.
“Because of its superlatives, including price, however, it also appeals greatly to the ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ crowd,” Forbes said on its Brand Voice website.
Gulfstream described the aircraft as ultra-high-speed, ultra-long-range business jet and the gold standard in business aviation.
The model was introduced in 2008 with a capacity for eight passengers and a crew of four on nonstop legs of 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 km) for standard configuration.
“That means it will link Dubai with New York and London with Buenos Aires. With its powerful Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the G650 will cover shorter distances at a speed of Mach 0.925. No traditional business jet will take you closer to the speed of sound,” Gulfstream said on its website.
The Gulfstream G650 was formally launched as an internal company project in May 2005, and publicly unveiled on March 13, 2008. At the public announcement occasion, company executives stated the new model would become Gulfstream’s largest, fastest and most expensive business jet on entry to the market.
The G650 has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 to 0.90, with maximum speed of Mach 0.925 and a range of up to 7,000nmi (13,000 km). It can be equipped with a full kitchen and bar and may be equipped with a variety of entertainment features including satellite phones and wireless Internet.
The jet use two Rolls Royce BR725 engines, each producing a maximum thrust of 17,000 pounds-force (75.6 kN). Gulfstream states that with a weight of less than 100,000 pounds (45,360 kg), it is able to land at small airports avoiding the busy airports around the world.
To provide better usage of the internal volume, Gulfstream designers rejected the usual circular fuselage cross-section in favor of an oval which uses a flatter lower portion. The cabin is 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m) wide and 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) high. The fuselage is of metal construction and composite construction is used for empennage, winglets, rear pressure bulkhead, engine cowlings, cabin floor structure and many fairings. The eight oval cabin windows on each side of the fuselage are 28 inches (71 cm) wide. The wing uses greater sweep (36 degrees) than previous Gulfstream aircraft (for example, the G550 wing has 27 degrees of sweep). It does not use leading-edge high-lift devices, and tracks for rear-mounted flaps are completely enclosed within the airfoil contour. The wing’s leading edge is a continuously-changing curve, and the airfoil varies continuously from root to tip (the tip incorporates winglets).
The aircraft controls are completely fly-by-wire, with no mechanical control between pilot and flight surfaces. The surfaces are moved by dual hydraulic systems. More airliners today are using fly-by-wire, but only one other current business jet (the Dassault Falcon 7X) is so equipped.
The G650 shares its yokes and column with the G550 in an effort to receive a common type rating. The wing design was completed in 2006. A total of 1,400 hours of wind tunnel testing was completed by 2008. A pressure-test fuselage was built and tested, including an ultimate-pressure test of 18.37 psi.
The G650 taxied under its own power for the first time on September 26, 2009. A public rollout ceremony was later held on September 29, 2009. The G650 had its maiden flight on November 25, 2009.
Flight testing for the maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 was announced as completed on May 4, 2010.Gulfstream reported on August 26, 2010 that the G650 hit a maximum speed of Mach 0.995 during a dive as part of its 1,800-hour flight test programme. In April 2011, a G650 crashed during flight testing. The G650 test aircraft were grounded until May 28, 2011, when the remaining test aircraft were allowed to return to flight testing. On September 7, 2012, the G650 received its type certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Its first delivery was to an American customer named Preston Henn on December 27, 2012.
The former governor, who is also the chairman of opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. Board of Trustees hides in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, because Boko Haram boys want his head. SAS is also wanted by the Borno Civilian JTF who recently burned his partner, Mala Othman’s house and got him arrested.
Thus, findings by ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that the new top 10 private jet owners in Nigeria are:
Name No of Jets Types
1. Senator Ali Sherriff 4 Gulfstream G650, 3 Dornier
2. Bishop Oyedepo 4 Gulfstream G550, VG450, Bombardier 604
3. Alhaji Dangote 2 Bombardier Express, Global
4. Dr. Mike Adenuga 2 Falcon 7X, Bombardier 604
5. Gov. Rotimi Ameachi 1 Bombardier Global
6. Gov. Godswill Akpabio 1 Gulfstream V
7. Pastor Adeboye 1 Gulfstream V
8. Gov. Aliyu 1 Gulfstream V
9. Folorunsho Alakija 1 Bombardier Express
10. Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor 1 Bombardier 607