Fred Furth (the jet-piloting, law-litigating, wine-growing vintner) and his trusty sidekick Brandenburg (a six-year-old Great Dane) planned to blast off at precisely eight this morning for the next leg of their round-the-world odyssey in a Citation Mustang very light jet.
The pair started out at Furth’s Chalk Hill winery in Sonoma County, California, and have worked their way east to Paris. They had hoped to complete their journey before the start of the airshow, but a permit snafu with Russia stopped that from happening literally 50 miles from the border.
Mistakenly assuming Furth and Brandenburg were flying in a Mustang of the
P-51 variety, the Russian government prohibited their entry after the military officials questioned why they wanted to stop at every northernmost airport from Moscow to Siberia (extreme north or south circumnavigations are shortest). After making phone calls to some well-placed politicians back home (Furth, a former lawyer, is a personal friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and big political contributor in the U.S.) Russia cleared him to enter the country.
Furth recently added the Citation Mustang to a Citation X he owns and flies. His plan, he said, is to be back at Chalk Hill in a week. “And, of course,” he said, “Brandenburg will do most of the flying.”