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Culture Ministry News

What Would Jesus Fly? – February 2023

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

February is the shortest month of the year, but pastors and ministry leaders still managed to get in 323.5 flights during the month – down from January’s total of 387 flights.

It also appears that at least one of the jets may have been in for service in February. According to Barry Bowen of The Trinity Foundation, Samaritan’s Purse (Emmanuel Group) Falcon 900 EX jet (tail number: N900FJ) spent time in Lincoln, Neb.  There is a large jet service center for Falcon jets in Lincoln.

Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Beechcraft, has a large service center in Wichita.  Bombardier also has a service center in Wichita.

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 last month began working together to make that project 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 February. 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, and 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.

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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.