Televangelist Kenneth Copeland faced a congressional inquiry after flying his ministry’s tax-exempt jet to Maui and the Fiji Islands.
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has been questioned about his use of state planes for political and personal trips.
And after getting a $180 billion federal bailout, the insurance giant AIG caught flak for its fleet of corporate jets.
To prevent the public from seeing where they fly, all have over the years turned to a little-known program that lets private plane owners block their flights from view in the government’s system for tracking air traffic.
The owners don’t have to meet any test to keep their flights secret. They merely submit a request to the National Business Aviation Association , a trade group that lobbied to set up the program on the grounds that secrecy is justified to protect business deals and the security of executives.