May 20, 2017

Flying the Presidential VIP Boeing 727 Private Jet!

On my recent aviation tour to South Africa, I have the fortune to charter a very unique aircraft, a Boeing 727 (Super 27) Registration ZS-PVX, which is the last one roll off the factory production line and she have only 6,500 hours of flying on her clock. (That's average 200 some hours flying per year!)

The Boeing Super 27 is owned by Fortune Air and based in Lanseria, Johannesburg area.

For those that don't know, a Super 27 is a Boeing 727 with among others upgraded engine (same type as used on MD80s) Speed was increased by 50 mph (80 km/h) by replacement of the two side engines with the JT8D-217 or the JT8D-219, along with the addition of hush kits to the center engine. Winglets were added to some of these aircraft to increase fuel efficiency.

Our group paid about $23,000 for 1.5 hours charter flight flying around Johannesburg and Lanseria. It is a lot of money but the unique and luxury experience is well worth it! The pilots are very accommodating, they not only allow us to visit the cockpit during flight but managed to the following:

  • Go Around at 500 feet over Mahikeng airfield
  • Low passes about 1,000 feet above ground level over Pretoria and Voortrekker Monument
  • A touch N go before coming back to land at Lanseria

This private B727 interior is consist of:

  • Rear section which can carry up to 18 passengers in premium economy seating.
  • A mid section (14 seats) with open dining hall and seating.
  • A private boardroom with 4 seats.
  • A private bedroom with oversized bed, sofa and closet.
  • A private bedroom with full shower
  • Front section seating (usually use by security)
  • Crew rest.

All together it has a capacity of 41 passengers.

Here are some photos of the luxury B727 VIP used by many past and current head of state of South Africa.


Our flight took us from Lanseria to Mafikeng for a missed approach, when on to Pilanesberg where we circled Sun City before heading to Pretoria for a low-pass at Waterkloof AFB. On return to Lanseria we made a touch and go before our full stop landing. The flight is conducted only 7,000 feet above ground level with many passes as low as just 1,000 feet!

Here are some pictures of the flight from the cockpit.


Here are more pictures of myself inside the VIP B727 and some onboard service and catering provided!



I have such an amazing flight in this luxury VVIP B727 that is used by head of state usually. As a group we were able to afford to charter her and realize our dream in flying a Boeing 727 classic with luxury fitting doing low passes and touch N go! The pilot flying her was really tremendously accommodating and tried their very best to show case the B727. We have 5 cabin crew looking after our group continuously with every request fulfilled. Enough said, it was an unforgettable treat and life should be all about unique experience!

If you're interested flying in her as a group in our next adventure, please drop me a line!

Youtube Video


Tips on Smart Travel and finding the best airfare

I use Momondo to search extensively across the best airfare before buying it. Have a look at this post to see how it is working for getting a cheaper ticket! Momondo definitely features the best First and Business Class deals of any Flight Search Engine out there.  I have put together many useful travel tips and airfare promotions in my Smart Travel section to guide you travel in more luxury with lower price!


Other Private Jet post



  1. Hi there.

    I flew Super 27 VP-BAB for a Saudi Sheik. 2005-2006. Awesome upgrade from the B727s I used to fly for DHL around Europe. But they were awesome to. I was really fortunate to fly this bird as my first jet and I got a total of 5 years flying it. Thinking back about it there has never been any aircraft type I’ve flown since that match the fun and enjoyment I got out of the B727.

    Now I’m confined to flying Nintendo game boy Airbues around the world and the joy of being a true hands stick and rudder pilot is long gone..

    I would fly one tomorrow if I had a chance.

    Anders Schoen – B727-100/200, B727QF, Super-27 pilot – FAA ATPL, Bermuda ATPL, EASA ATPL qualified.

  2. Seb

    Let me know next time you are planning a trip like this.

  3. Dario Bradic

    Sam hello,
    what a great and uniqe flight that was.
    Boeing 727 is my eternal No1 airplane. I was able to fly on board last US pax 727 (Champion Air).
    Also lucky enough to attend final N7001U flight KPAE KBFI in March 2016!
    Please let me about any plans to fly 727, it will ge really appreciated.
    Thank You!

    Dario Bradic

  4. Dave Bolger

    Great report Sam.
    Keep me posted should you do another…
    Have fun mate
    Dave Bolger

Submit a Comment