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Investigations Ministry News

What Would Jesus Fly? – April 2023

Liberty University Again Tops “Pastors and Planes” List

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EDITOR’S NOTE:  Barry Bowen of The Trinity Foundation compiled the flight information for this project.

April was a busy month for pastors and their planes. Pastors and ministry leaders made 371 flights, matching an equally busy March, and significantly exceeding February’s total of 323.5 flights.

Liberty University once again topped the list, making 27 flights in its Hawker B200GT.  That plane is better known as a King Air.  It’s a turboprop plane widely used as a corporate travel aircraft. It’s also widely used by the government and military, and as an air ambulance.

The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation has been tracking the use of private aircraft by ministries and churches.  Recently the Trinity Foundation started posting graphics on Twitter to track daily usage.  (You can find that Twitter account, @PastorPlanes, here.)

MinistryWatch and The Trinity Foundation began working together in January to make that project – and these flight data — better known to the public. That goal led us to produce the list you see below. It identifies the number of flights by ministries and pastors during the month of March. We have also included the type of airplane and its estimated hourly operating cost.  For those of you who are “planespotters” and enjoy using such services as FlightAware to do tracking of your own, we have also included the tail number of the planes.

To see last month’s list, click here.  To read more about this project (such as what why not all the numbers are whole numbers, and how we calculated operating costs), click here.

Access to MinistryWatch content is free.  However, we hope you will support our work with your prayers and financial gifts.  To make a donation, click here.

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Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.