REPORT: Gov. McCrory's Frequent, Unnecessary Use of State Plane Costing Taxpayers
A new investigative report from WBTV in Charlotte has discovered that Gov. McCrory is frequently using the state plane in situations where it's not necessary, frequently to commute to his home in Charlotte and the Western Residence. The "avoidable" flights have cost taxpayers $60,000 and have drawn criticism from good government groups on the left and right.
Governor Pat McCrory’s frequent trips to Charlotte and the state’s Western Residence in Asheville has cost taxpayers nearly $60,000 in flight time on state airplanes.
McCrory makes no secret of the time he spends at his home in Charlotte and at the Western Residence.
A review of travel records obtained by On Your Side Investigates through a public records request shows the Governor frequently uses state airplanes to get out of town, even when it means making extra flights.
On Your Side Investigates reviewed the two years of flight records and flagged any flight that could have been avoided had McCrory stayed in Raleigh: flights with no passengers, flights that carried McCrory’s staff but not the Governor either coming to pick him up or going back to Raleigh after leaving him in Charlotte, or flights that included the Governor but that would have been unnecessary had he stayed in Raleigh.
Our review found 125 flights that fit the criteria: 48 flights with no passengers, 49 flights on which at least one member of the Governor’s staff was aboard without him and 28 flights that included McCrory.
Records show McCrory flies on one of two state airplanes owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Typically, records show, McCrory flies on a King Air-200 twin-engine turbo prop airplane that costs $560 per hour to operate. Records show McCrory also uses the state-owned Cessna Citation II jet that costs $770 per hour to operate.
Invoices provided by the Governor’s Office shows the 125 avoidable flights flown by state-owned jets at McCrory’s request cost taxpayers $59,605 in just flight hours, not including additional fees associated with individual airports.