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Montana governor to use personal plane, not state aircraft

February 23, 2021 GMT

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s governor said he will use his own plane for business travel rather than a state aircraft.

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office said he purchased the fixed-wing, single-engine plane in December, the Independent Record reports.

“As he did when he served Montana in Congress, Gov. Gianforte doesn’t fly at taxpayer expense but instead on his own dime,” spokesperson Brooke Stroyke said.

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The state will assume liability in the event of a crash or other unforeseen incident when Gianforte flies in the Pilatus Aircraft PC-12/47E while conducting official business, Stroyke said.

It was not immediately clear how information about travel on the plane and accounting for the time of its use for state business versus personal use will be documented. Stroyke said that would be determined.

It was also unclear what will happen to the state’s 1989 Beechcraft King Air twin turboprop plane.

Previous governors used a state plane and pilots to travel Montana. Gianforte’s budget eliminated the air transportation program.