Me and my business jet
Our new series profiling pilots, owners, operators and their favourite business jets. Words: Yves Le Marquand
Captain Ludwig Reiter - HondaJet Elite HA-420
Captain Ludwig Reiter is one of The Flying Bulls’ newest pilots having joined Red Bull’s aviation division in January 2020. Having flown gliders since 2003, Reiter has been a commercial pilot for the past 14 years accumulating 7,500 hours. After flying for airlines in Botswana and Nepal, Reiter spent the past eight years based in Malta with VistaJet. Since joining The Flying Bulls in Salzburg, Austria, Reiter has been piloting primarily the HondaJet Elite HA-420.
Captain Ludwig Reiter,
HondaJet Elite HA-420
The Flying Bulls
+43 (0)662 2197
CJI: What was your happiest moment in your business jet?
Reiter: There are many, but we probably must narrow it down to two events. One great moment was laying eyes on the newly painted aircraft for the first time at the Honda factory in North Carolina. The second was seeing the aircraft on the apron of Hangar-7/Hangar-8 here at our home base in Salzburg, Austria after the delivery flight.
CJI: Why did you choose this model?
Reiter: The HondaJet combines not only passenger safety and comfort in a very stylish and modern sense but also improves and enhances greatly the situational awareness for pilots and reduces workload with smart features and the highly automated Garmin 3000 avionic system.
Honda has been a great and trusted partner for many years throughout the Red Bull Motorsport family/industry so the decision to select the HondaJet aircraft came quite naturally.
CJI: To what extent has it lived up to your expectations?
Reiter: The quality of the materials used and the sophisticated approach to a new aerodynamic concept, as well as the performance of the aircraft has by far exceeded our expectations.
No detail was overlooked when creating this advanced very light jet and Honda has clearly delivered on a high note. I would like to highlight the spacious cabin and that our passengers are also excited about the low noise levels inside. The engines are really quiet and there are no vibrations.
CJI: What’s the secret of striking a great deal for a business jet?
Reiter: First, you need to know how many passengers you would like to transport and at which airports you need to land. The light business jet market is hard contested with a couple of very good options. So, go out, find a great manufacturer and a model that suits your needs, take your time and don’t rush into a decision. Once you know what you want, don’t hesitate to test-fly before making a final decision.
CJI: Which destination would you like to jet off to this weekend?
Reiter: The Flying Bulls’ airbase is in Salzburg in the heart of Austria. Surrounded by the majestic mountain range of the Alps, our convenient location allows for many exciting destinations: from Nice Airport to Monaco, Milan, Hamburg and London. It’s hard to choose just one destination. Especially in Fall when places like Tuscany and many others look like paintings from above.
CJI: Who would you like to take with you and why?
Reiter: It’s always a pleasure to introduce this aircraft to our passengers. Everyone has a big smile on their face after landing and everyone is impressed with its unique engine mount and smooth flight characteristics.
Hopefully we will get the chance to take many of our Red Bull Sport athletes on a comfortable and enjoyable ride – whether it be to a meeting, an important match or the next race.
CJI: What was your most memorable business jet flight and why?
Reiter: Definitely on the HondaJet ferry flight. Flying over the calving glaciers on the approach into Narsarsuaq Airport, south Greenland on a quick refuelling stop on the way from Canada to Salzburg. It’s an old US military base from the Second World War and it always surprises me how precisely the guys navigated through the fjords without GPS back in those days.
CJI: Which one item do you never travel without and why?
Reiter: A travel charger with multiple plugs, dual USB sockets and a charging cable. With ever more devices crying for a battery-refill after a long busy day this item comes in handy.