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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Christian Deputy, President and Captain of Liberty Jet Management

Born and bred in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Christian George Deputy grew up in a family that was enthused about Florida vacations and flying high.  His grandparents had a home in Daytona Beach, which inspired and ignited his love for flying as it is home to Embry-Riddle, the premiere aeronautical university worldwide.    Age 12, Christian saw Embry-Riddle for the first time and with aviation flight simulators coming out at the time, he had a tangible real life equivalent to compare this future dream to.  At age 14, Christian had a unique opportunity to wash and wax his dad's friend's airplane and it turned out to be a bigger job than anticipated.  After working on it for three days, Christian had the chance to be paid $300 or have $300 in gas money for a ride by this owner and pilot of the plane.  It is obvious to our readers which he chose!  You know Pilot Peachy has highly recommended Liberty Jet and in over 5,200 posts this has been our favorite by far (Sorry Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Koch; we like you a lot too but you will have to come with us on Liberty Jet next time):
The pilot took Christian flying down to the Jersey shore and back up to Allentown and Christian was aeronautically hooked from that stage on.  A common misconception is that to be a pilot, you have to go into the military; however a degree from Embry- Riddle gives one a world-class background in aviation that can't be beat.   And that's exactly what Christian Deputy achieved.  A graduate of Parkland High School, Christian spent two years at West Virginia University getting core classes under his belt, however, his aviation desire was unfulfilled.  Christian G. Deputy then headed south to fulfill his 40,000 foot ambitions with flying!!!  At Embry-Riddle, of course.

Christian graduated with a four-year BS degree in Aeronautical Science with honors from Embry-Riddle, which gives one a background in science of aerodynamics and its physics.  Additionally, Christian earned a Minor in Meteorology because of its obvious impact on flying, and this really set him apart.  Being a safer pilot with knowledge of the weather distinguished from other pilots who were not equipped with such a strong a background in such a key component of safety.  Fulfilling his solo flight requirements in DeLand Florida, Christian was selected for an internship with TWA out of JFK to work in the meteorology department during the summer of 1996.  This set the stage for a pilot position which he secured later in his career.

When Christian was 21, fresh out of Embry-Riddle, he was a first officer on a Beech 1900 and was upgraded to Captain for Continental Connection out of Miami, Florida at the lowest possible legal age of 23 flying passengers to the Caribbean.  After averaging 1,100 hours a year (800 is standard), he had the experience to generate an interview with TWA because of the combined winning combination of being a Captain and having had a previous internship with them in meteorology at JFK.  Hired in June of 1999, ever precocious Christian was a First Officer on a MD80- a 162 passenger jet at the young age of 25.  Christian continued to command top positions as in January of 2000, even after American Airlines bought TWA.  After this merger, there were 11,000 pilots at American Airlines, however Christian was hired so young and rose so quickly that when Christian turns age 65, the mandatory retirement age, he will be the #35 most senior, which means that  there are only 34 pilots that are younger and senior to him at American Airlines.
After the tragedy of September 11th, the airline industry shrunk and even Christian was furloughed in October in 2002 by American Airlines.   Christian realized the unfulfilled potential then of the private sector, which took off both literally and figuratively.    Christian secured a position flying a family from Long Island for their personal use as well as charter of the fleet.  After many years of service, Christian became educated in private sector niche firsthand.  Liberty Jet was born in November 2006 with a FAA certification and has grown exponentially ever since.  Liberty Jet has jet aircraft based in New York, Chicago, Bermuda and Boca Raton. After flying Liberty Jet, Pilot Peachy would be disappointed by any other carrier she believes.  Of all of the private jets, we know it is the best!  Christian Deputy lives on Long Island with his wife Denise and his children Alex and Claire.

We are thrilled to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!!!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Christian Deputy for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: If you could go back in time, what would you say to the 14-year-old you waxing that plane today?
Christian Deputy: If you think waxing this plane is tough, wait till you have kids.

What do you know now about aviation that all our readers should be aware of?
I know people complain about airfares. But I say get into your car and drive to California for $500. You will be calling me by Ohio to pick you up.

When you are flying in rough weather, how do you do it?
The first rule of thumb is to avoid it. But the second rule of thumb is to get out of it. Focus would be my answer.

How many feet are required for take-off and how many are feet are required to land?
A good rule of thumb for the Challenger is I won't carry passengers in or out of a field that is less then 5,000 FT.

What is the maximum altitude you can fly at and how do the different airspaces's rules differ?
The Challenger is certified to 41,000 feet. I have had out Citation Jet up to 49,500 Feet. What is interesting about the charter business is you do wind up in some really uncontrolled airspace (no Air Traffic Control) so your own vigilance is paramount to operate safely as most airline flights are in and out of larger airports.

What criteria do you look for when selecting a plane or jet?
The pilots. Period. The safest part of any airplane is the crew up front.

What is the cruising speed of the Challenger and what is its distance capability?
The Challenger typically flies at .80 Mach and has a range of about 3,300 NM with reserve fuel.

Michael Gross, an author and recent Mover and Shaker, said being rich today is all about Gulfstreams. What do you think of them and does Liberty Jet plan to add any?
The Gulfstream product is fantastic. In fact, my brother is in Charge of the G200 program for Gulfstream in Savanna, GA where they are located. We selected the Bombardier product for its roomier cabin.

What industries do people come from that charter flights, most often? We imagine you can't say who you fly exactly other than you have any good stories for our readers?
In the past it was primarily the financial sector. Lately that has been coming back slowly, in general a lot of independently wealthy people. Most of my good stories are under lock and key but do involve celebrities and their crazy behaviors.

What challenges does the aviation industry face in the near future with regards to security and safety?
The challenge for the industry is to start using some common sense again. My favorite security story was shortly after 9/11: I went through security in my uniform with American Airlines and they singled me out. They sat me down made me take my shoes off patted me down..etc. I said to the guy that he might want to pay more attention to my identification than to if I had a knife in my shoe. When he asked me why, I said I already have the airplane the company gave it to me.

In your opinion, what sets Liberty Jet apart?
The private jet industry has changed so much. My business model has broken the old brick and mortar hangar model where a charter company would only manage your airplane if it went into their hangar. I have elected to base aircraft all over the country as airplanes were not supposed to be in the hangar to start with. A lot of these companies have hangar rents of $40,000 a month. I elect to put that kind of money to work in marketing and our employees.

What is the most fun part of flying the Challenger and what do you like about it?
The best part of the plane is the roominess in the cockpit, much larger then the Gulfstream cockpit. The most fun part is the destinations that I get called to fly to. European trips, South America and a lot of West coast stuff. I can't tell you have many times I have been to Florida in the last ten years so it is nice to "Get Away."

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
My Children. After being furloughed from American Airlines just because my number came up and my son was six months old, I told myself from that day forward I would not be the product of someone else's decisions and I would succeed or fail on my own.

What are you proudest of and why?
Again my children. You have to see these two I know everyone thinks their kids are cute but my god!

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
Go around the world on one trip. It will happen, soon. [Peachy: Great! You know who would chronicle the experience...]

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
We as a company have achieved the highest independent safety ratings in our industry. We have also been listed as one of the top 10 operators in the country. Personally pilots don't look for awards; the best pilots are usually the quietest.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
I like Little Italy. I always feel like I am in Epcot when I walk around there, plus the food.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Lately it has been Toys R Us. Can't come back from a meeting in the city without a toy or two.

What is your favorite drink?
Star Vodka of course! (See below photo)

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
When I come to the city it is usually for business. For some reason I always find myself at the Bryant Park Grill because of its convenient location for me to Penn Station. I am dying to go to Swifty's though!

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
Don't have a book but I do have a movie, the original Arthur with Dudley Moore.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?
I guess it would be Swifty's so I could get a reservation.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
I walked like five blocks once.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Be a professional people watcher. You really don't get the same caliber of lunacy anywhere else, I have been everywhere else trust me.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Uhhhh, not my cup of tea. If I have to answer then I do enjoy a Broadway show.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Then most underrated thing about Manhattan would Harlem. Most overrated would be Times Square. But in regards to underrated/overrated everywhere, since my office is in the sky and we land everywhere, underrated would have to be Arby's the restaurant chain overrated would have to be any city in the State of Ohio, they all stink.

Other than Mover and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Pilot Peachy of course! You have some really good intelligent people on your panel.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I am very very close to bowling a 300 on Wii sports in my office, I will let you all know when that happens.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Always by phone, I like to talk to people directly. 516-984-9672

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