October 22, 2013
By Thomas A. Horne
Press conferences at the National Business Aviation Association convention are normally very staid affairs. The room is darkened. A company official trudges through a PowerPoint designed to inspire the audience with the firm’s success. Perhaps a video clip or two are shown. A few questions are asked by the audience, then answered. End of show.
But not at this year’s Embraer press conference. After a presentation emphasizing the company’s enhancements to the Phenoms, the new Legacy 450 and 500, and the improvements to the Lineage 1000E, Embraer Executive Jets’ president Ernest Edwards threw the crowd off balance a bit. Mentioning Embraer’s progress in China, Edwards quickly segued into introducing action-movie star Jackie Chan. All heads turned—and there he was, beaming his trademark grin. He was next to me!
Chan has been serving as a promotional figure for Embraer for the past year, following his purchase of an Embraer Legacy 650. After making his way past a snowballing crowd, Chan took the podium. He said he uses his 650 all the time, shuttling between China and Los Angeles, as well as many other places around the world. He even volunteered his airplane to send food and water to disaster-stricken areas of China.
Chan was at the press conference for yet another announcement: He will be the launch customer for Embraer’s new Legacy 500. Reporters dutifully jotted all this down, then mobbed Chan as he grabbed a huge Legacy 500 model and hoisted it off its stand. He mugged a lot. I edged as close as the scrum would let me, my pitiful iPhone held high. All around me, the shutters of $5,000 Canons and Nikons machine-gunned away.
“Hey Jackie,” I yelled. He turned toward me and I hit the button. I got the shot. Well, a shot. And then he was gone.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Bombardier has launched the 12-passenger Challenger 650 with an order from launch customer NetJets.
Sabreliner isn't just for Sabreliners anymore. New owners and management have recast it as a jet refurbishment and parts center.
Nextant, rebuilder of the Beechcraft Hawker 400 and King Air 90, has named Piedmont Aircraft as the eastern dealer for the Nextant 400XTi and the G90XT.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>