Wednesday, November 14, 2007

State of Wisconsin Airlines...Buckle Your Seatbelt, Please

The Badger did a little spadework and came up with an interesting gem:

Nice to know our taxes dollars are being spent for important stuff….Like THREE! Pilatus aircraft going to Muncie, Indiana today.

Want to track the flights yourself? Take a look.

He goes on to show you how to ID planes, flight-plans, etc., etc., and then asks the question:

Why are the taxpayers paying for three of these? I thought Pol Pot Doyle was selling off the fleet.

Good question. And it turns out that there's an answer, of sorts, found in the combox:

...a quick email from the director of Wisconsin Air Services confirms: “The flights transported the UW Milwaukee Men’s Basketball team yesterday afternoon to a game in Muncie Indiana. The team will be returning this evening after the game.”

Of course, that brings up a couple more questions, courtesy of StevEgg:

- Could the UWM basketball team have found another way to Muncie? It is, according to Yahoo Maps, just over 5 hours by bus from Milwaukee.

- Considering the operating cost of one PC-12 is just over $500/hour, and the flight between Crites and Muncie is an hour, is UWM reimbursing the state the $3,000 or so?

- Given the cost versus time (don’t forget to add the buses to/from Crites and to/from the Muncie airport), was that a wise use of $3,000?

(scritch, scratch, scritch...)

A drive of ~600 miles at @.44/mile (standard Fed rate) would be about $265.00. Double that for a bus, then add $600. for the driver, you got about $1200.00.

So, arguably, the State expended $1800.00 more than they had to to get the UW-M team to Muncie, IN.

No client of mine would authorize an $1800.00 expense bulge for my convenience, by the way...


Display Name said...

Wow, who did the actual footwork to see who was on the planes?

If 27 people rode along, even with your numbers, was $1800 worth the convenience? Is the team allowed to make that decision?

Todd Lohenry said...

Nice research! Kudos...

Anonymous said...

To be fair, there is the factor that the players actually are supposed to be, gasp, students first. So more time on the road may mean missing one or more classes . . . for which we-the-taxpayers have contributed.

I rather like to see students show up for classes for which I've paid -- and not just players but also students who are scorers, waterboys, etc. And the group may include others whom we have paid to teach, and their students not with the team deserve to see those teachers in classes, too.

All that said, this year's schedule probably is still one from the Bruce Pearl regime. Maybe UWM will go back to scheduling opponents not so far away, so students can be students first. And get to class.

Dad29 said...

Actually, Anony, that would have been no problem with busses.

600 miles is only about 12 hours' drive. So they finish their game at 10 PM, get into the busses, and arrive at campus by 10 AM.

How do you think these events happened in the 1950's? 1960's?

They ALL took busses and missed a class or two--which they ALL actually made up on the side.

You know: STUDENT-athlete...