Omaha Sen. Bob Krist alters stance, says he'll introduce bill to buy new state plane - Omaha.com
Published Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:00 am / Updated at 2:20 am
Omaha Sen. Bob Krist alters stance, says he'll introduce bill to buy new state plane

LINCOLN — A longtime pilot, State Sen. Bob Krist changed his flight plan Thursday, saying he will introduce a bill to buy a new state plane after all.

“I decided it was time to step up to the plate and show some leadership,” said Krist, a private pilot who used to fly in the military. “It is in the best interest of taxpayers to do this.”

Previously, Krist said he would propose the $3.5 million purchase only if requested by Gov. Dave Heineman, primary user of the plane.

Last year, Heineman asked lawmakers to buy a 12-year-old plane owned by the University of Nebraska Foundation, but they balked, questioning whether it was overpriced and whether it would make more sense to buy new.

Last month, the governor slammed the Legislature for “playing politics” with safety by conducting a $3,800 study and failing to act on the report, which recommended buying a new plane.

Krist initially said it was up to the governorl. But at a press conference Thursday, Krist said he would introduce the measure next week.

The Legislature's study recommended the purchase of a new five-passenger Beechcraft King Air C90GTx.

It is estimated to cost $3.3 million to $3.5 million, Krist said, but some of the cost would be offset by the sale of the governor's current plane, a 32-year-old Piper Cheyenne.

The new plane would also have a five-year warranty, better safety equipment and a lower cost of operation.

Krist and Fullerton Sen. Annette Dubas defended the Legislature's rejection of the governor's initial plan. The study, by a company that specializes in such analyses, said the foundation's $2.1 million used plane was overpriced by about $200,000. Krist said that plane has already required $250,000 worth of propeller work, which means the study has already saved nearly $500,000.

Krist said that leasing a plane instead of buying will probably be raised during floor debate.

But he said that buying a plane would be better because the pilots would be known and the plane immediately available.

Heineman declined to comment.

A new state report indicated that the governor has flown 7,966 miles on the Cheyenne, which also logged 3,115 miles for other agencies and for maintenance trips.

Contact the writer: Paul Hammel

paul.hammel@owh.com    |   402-473-9584    |  

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues and helps coordinate the same.

High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »