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No Jet for Kristi: State Buys 2015 King Air 350 Turboprop

Governor Kristi Noem spent $195K on Oklahoma plane consultants Verity Jet Group to tell her a truth that any regular citizen in the street could have told her for free: the Governor of South Dakota does not need her own jet plane. Stephen Groves reports that the Department of Transportation is replacing the state’s King Air turboprop planes with a 2015 King Air turboprop:

The Department of Transportation completed the purchase of a 2015 Beechcraft King Air 350 for about $4.5 million, spokesman Ian Fury confirmed. The aircraft, which holds up to nine passengers, is marketed to business executives with pull-out work tables, a built-in refreshment center and onboard Wi-Fi.

…South Dakota’s new plane will be one of the most luxurious state-owned planes in the region. North Dakota flies a pair of King Air 200s manufactured in 1995. Minnesota’s King Air 200 is a 1993 model. And Nebraska’s King Air C90 GTX, which it purchased straight from the factory in 2014 for $3.5 million, has a cabin roughly half the size of South Dakota’s new plane.

The state is selling its King Air 200 along with a 1995 King Air 90. The Department of Transportation estimated the two planes would need about $850,000 in maintenance in the next three years. The three planes in the state’s fleet were previously averaging an annual maintenance cost of $333,000 [Stephen Groves, “Noem Settles on Roomy Turboprop for New State Airplane,” AP, 2021.08.05].

The state’s new-to-us King Air 350 can easily whisk Noem and a full load of seven other passengers to a pop break at What-a-Burger in McAllen, Texas, in 3.5 hours and still have plenty of fuel to fly to a fundraiser in Dallas. Mar-a-Lago is still in range, too, and hey—if Kristi wants to get their faster, she can borrow pillow-man Mike Lindell’s jet again.


  1. sx123 2021-08-08

    King Airs are decent enough planes. I’ve flown on them a few times.

  2. Lottie 2021-08-08

    I wonder if KN would accomplish more if she was simply given a horse and buggy…i mean think about it.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-08-08

    She is a snow queen and her name is Kristi, a Sanity Clause could help her.

  4. grudznick 2021-08-08

    This is great news. I am glad it is luxurious and can go a long ways on one fill-up of gas.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-08

    Well, does she do less damage when she is out of state? Perhaps we should encourage the Governor to spend m more time at high altitude away from the boring affairs of state which require management and leadership skills. At least its roomy enough for her to take along her million dollar staff.

  6. Curt 2021-08-08

    I realize it’s not news, but I think it’s significant that for the price of $5M we the people of the Great State of South Dakota now own one less airplane than we did a few months ago. Air travel can be expedient at times for other State employees – in addition to Her Highness. She has certainly upgraded her mode of travel … but does anyone else benefit?

  7. jerry 2021-08-08

    Those are kind of cramped for space. I saw a picture of her and somebody else in that plane and they looked like they were kind of close. Of course, we don’t believe in masks here so having your travel companions as close as young lovers is probably the norm.

    BTW, the beverage container is an ordinary Igloo cooler that holds a 6 pack and a large ham sandwich.

  8. O 2021-08-08


  9. El Rayo X 2021-08-08

    There’s a surplus Boeing 757 sitting in Orange County, NY that might be had. The current owner can’t afford to replace the engines so it could be picked up for a song. Strip the crap Trump paint job, get rid of the KFC smell and slap on a couple of new engines and who’s riding Coupe’ DeVille?

  10. mike from iowa 2021-08-08

    Noem Nothing is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Do you suppose she thinks she gets frequent flyer miles for hitting all these fundraisers when she should be taking care of business at home? Will the plane handle a new Fake Noize exclusive tv station like the guv’s taxpayer funded hole in the mansion?

  11. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-08-08

    I called Kristi “Queen of the Covid-19” a dull, philandering narcissist in an email to The Fall River County Herald Star on July 14 of this year. And, yet, I am still free. Ain’t this a great state?

  12. grudznick 2021-08-08

    This was in the news a long time ago, and let grudznick remind you that I said she would not have a jet, but now that it finally hit the bloggings here does anybody have a picture of this Aeroplane? I think it would be really neato if there was a picture of the Governor on the outside like there is on busses and cars I have seen.

  13. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-08

    well, I don’t know, grudz, how about a picture of her horse.

  14. grudznick 2021-08-08

    That would be neato, too, Mr. Blundt. If this fancy, new, really high-end plane were “wrapped”, as the kids say, with a horsey picture so the front of it looked like horsey teeth, a whole horsey maw coming at you, and the sides looked like the sides of…a horsey I guess, and then if you were chasing it from behind, well, it would look like a raised tail with some horsey poop coming out.

    grudznick likes what you have in mind.

  15. Amy Blair 2021-08-09

    I wonder if I can use that plane if I claim to be an ambassador for the state. The governor says she can use it for whatever because she’s an ambassador for the state….I think the rest of us should be able to be ambassadors with plane privileges too.

  16. Loren 2021-08-09

    Maybe we should sell the airplane fleet and buy a bus. Seems Mikey Rounds got in trouble because of plane abuse, and now Kristi can’t figure out the appropriate use. It’s all so confusing.

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-08-09

    South Dakota doesn’t need airplanes.
    SD needs seats on a plane and a speedy reservation on demand.
    Use NetJets and save millions.
    Most wealthy business people do.

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