An article from Forbes on 5 July starts with the amazing news that, on 2 July, law enforcement found a Gulfstream-II business jet abandoned on a clandestine runway in Southern Mexico. Its occupants, and the drugs it was carrying, were gone. Apparently, however, Gulfstream jets are quite popular with the smugglers. It goes on to say that analysis of nearly 40 reported incidents so far this year shows that aircraft used can be grouped under the 4 families which together constitute 84% of incidents. Perhaps surprisingly, 2 of the types are relatively expensive and sophisticated business jets, usually used to whisk high-powered executives, film and music stars around the world. The 4 types are –
- Gulfstream business jets – long-range twin-engine types, not much smaller than the Airbus or Embraer you might use for your short regional airline flight. Apparently, an advantage it offers is the ability to use poor airstrips;
- 125 or B.Ae 125 – a smaller British twin-engine business jet, easily available second-hand in the US;
- Cessna single-engine light aircraft – short-range and small, but the type you might have thought most used for smuggling; and
- Beechcraft King Air and Super King Air – quite sophisticated twin-engine turboprop business aircraft. The article says that 9 have been reportedly been used this year.
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