Allens' new jet keeps busy, but flights to Anchorage are rare

Anchorage Daily NewsAugust 18, 2008 

The Hawker jet purchased eight months ago by Bill Allen and two of his grown children has spent most of its time in the Four Corners region of the Southwest United States, home base for the family and its ongoing horse business.

Federal Aviation Administration records show that Allen Transport LLC of Anchorage took delivery of the jet on Jan. 10, when it landed shortly after noon that Thursday at Roswell, N.M., on a flight from Boise, Idaho. Allen's son Mark has a 46-acre horse ranch in Roswell, and Allen himself has been spending much of his time there, according to his attorney and others.

On the ground for less than 45 minutes, the jet was back in the air, headed for Grand Junction, Colo., home of Allen's daughter, Tammy Kerrigan, and Allen's first wife, Doris. It landed one hour and 23 minutes later, but again wasn't on the ground long -- less than two hours -- before resuming its flight.

The Hawker reached Bellingham, Wash., in mid-afternoon. Bellingham is near Blaine, Wash., home of Allen's other daughter, Shannon West.

State records show that Allen Transport, owned by Bill Allen, Mark Allen and Kerrigan, was established in Alaska on Oct. 29, 2007 -- seven weeks after the Allens sold Veco. Allen and his children walked away from the sale with more than $100 million in cash, according to the public sales agreement and other documents obtained by the Daily News. The Allens registered their new ownership of the jet, a 1978 Hawker HS125-700A, on Dec. 31, 2007, keeping its existing tail number, N899AB.

Allen is the government's chief witness in its broad and ongoing corruption investigation in Alaska, which most recently led to the indictment of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who has pleaded not guilty.

In all, the Hawker has stopped 35 times in Roswell, 22 times in Grand Junction and four times in Bellingham, according to FAA flight data. The plane also makes frequent visits to the Los Angeles area, and flew to the Bahamas and Palm Beach, Fla., at the end of February. It has gone four times to Farmington, N.M., where Allen's sister and several nieces and nephews live and which is also the site of a racetrack.

But the Hawker had not flown to Anchorage, at least not through the middle of July, according to FAA records.

The flight history of the jet became unavailable starting July 25. A private Web site that reports on domestic flights using FAA data stopped reporting the flights of the Hawker because of a privacy request by the owners.

Larry Jessen, president of Great Southwest Aviation, the fixed-base operator in Roswell, said the Hawker had been hangared at his facility for several months earlier this year. He said he got to know Bill and Mark Allen, who would leave their matching pickups parked in his lot when they flew.

"Both big Fords with every option," Jessen said.

Jessen said he knew the Allens raised horses and thought that many of the flights were related to that business.

All three children are licensed horse owners through the New Mexico Racing Commission.

"Bill himself spent a lot of time here, but then all of a sudden, what we were told was that the daughter was going to take over the management of the plane," Jessen said. "She lived in Grand Junction; therefore the plane was moved to Grand Junction."

The FAA flight records showed the plane began an extended stay in Grand Junction starting May 8. It was hangared there at West Star Aviation, a large jet refurbishing operation, according to a West Star employee.

Before then, the Allens employed their own pilot, who lived in Roswell, Jessen said. He would call to order fuel before each flight.

Even before it left for the West Star facility, the jet was in good shape, Jessen said.

"It's got new paint, new interior -- it's nice. It doesn't look like an old airplane."

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