I remember a few years ago he couldn't pay for his planes due to rising gas prices:
STUART — Even Willie Gary isn’t immune to soaring gas prices.
As the cost of jet fuel has risen sharply, the prominent Stuart attorney has been opting for commercial flights over his Boeing 737.
Now, he’s hoping to recoup some of the costs for his plane, “The Wings of Justice,” by leasing it.
“It’s all about the gas prices,” Gary said. “We cannot afford it, point blank.”
By the end of the year, Gary wants to find a company that could rent the plane to celebrities or anyone else with enough money to borrow it.
Gary said he hopes to pick up $150,000 per month through leasing the plane. Fuel is costing him $250,000 a month, he said.
Gary would maintain ownership of the 737, and he would prefer his crew — two pilots, a flight attendant and a mechanic — continue to operate it. He also would reserve dates for his own use of the plane, although he said he expects those to be few and far between.
The prominent attorney hasn’t flown on his own aircraft in more than two months. He plans to use it only when he has a large group of people to fly.
Gary estimated he has been the lone passenger on 90 percent of the plane’s flights.
When he bought the plane more than a decade ago, fuel prices were five times less then they are today.
Gary now spends about $35,000 for a roundtrip flight to Atlanta. That’s a cost he no longer can justify to his clients, he said.
“When we were flying on a regular basis, prices weren’t as high,” he said. “Now, it’s to a point where it’s just ridiculous.”