How Much Did Governor’s Helicopter Trip to NASCAR Race in Pocono Cost?

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LONG POND – Before the cars on Long Pond hit speeds close to 200 miles per hour, many race fans were stuck in gridlock just trying to get into the Pocono Raceway for Sunday’s 400.

But Governor Corbett got to the race quickly, and the question is, did taxpayers pay a lot of money to get him to the Sunday afternoon race. The Governor was driven from Harrisburg to Hazleton, then flew to and from the raceway in a State Police Helicopter.

How much did the flight cost?

According to the state police it costs $311 an hour in fuel and lubricants which would make the cost of the Governor`s two 15 minute flights at $156 dollars.

But that doesn’t include other costs, like the helicopter’s wear and tear, frequent repairs, and other maintenance costs.

Other states calculate the price per hour for helicopter flights at a much higher rate.

Take New Jersey.

Two summers ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie rode a State Police Helicopter to his son`s little league game. And that state placed the cost at $2500 per hour.

Governor Christie eventually reimbursed the state.

But in Pennsylvania, State Police say Governor Corbett`s trip to Pocono cost little or nothing.

An agency spokeswoman says police “traditionally support the race at Pocono with aviation assets…” for traffic control.

That spokeswoman added “The helicopter was assigned to Pocono anyway,’ and State Police, “transport the governor on occasion, (as) pilots need a certain amount of required training hours.”