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Author Topic: WaT Zoo Exhibit #1: Adam Tait, David Rich & Anita Dash - Fake Airline Tycoons  (Read 1531 times)
Rattler
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« on: 23 July 2009, 18:24:45 »
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Actually these pseudonyms belong to an (yet unidentified) 17 yr old teenager from Yorshire in England who managed to make the whole British airline industry for 6 month believe he was an airline tycoon about to launch a new airline in Europe, that he had a fleet of jets and offices all over the planet...

Daniel Foggo and Martin Foley have it in today´s Sunday Times (where all the quotes stem from):

Quote
A teenage boy from Yorkshire succeeded in persuading British aviation executives that he was a tycoon about to launch his own airline. Using the pseudonym Adam Tait, the smooth-talking 17-year-old told airport and airline executives that he had a fleet of jets.

Tait, who said he was in his twenties, even flew to Jersey to attend a 1½-hour long meeting with the director of its airport. Their talks were considered promising enough for a further meeting to be arranged, which was due to be held next week.

Other air industry bosses found themselves dealing by telephone or e-mail with Tait’s fellow executives, David Rich and Anita Dash, who proposed to launch a cut-price Channel Islands-based airline servicing most of Europe.

What no one realised was that Tait, Rich and Dash were all the same person: an aircraft buff with the gift of the gab and an overactive imagination.


His first step was to buy up a series of websites under the name of American Global Group and Island Airways and to talk to various airlines of giving him franchise contracts.

Quote
He claimed that the American parent company had a readily available fleet of 12 jets of varying size. His e-mails, like his telephone patter, were impressively well informed and persuasive. Each ended with the sign-off “American Global Group, 35 Countries, 22 Languages, One Team”, followed by a list of all the states in which it supposedly had offices.

Malcolm Coupar, the commercial manager of Aurigny, the airline owned by the Guernsey government, said he and Malcolm Hart, his managing director, had conducted discussions over a period of months with Tait, who was using the name David Rich.

“Some of the things he said were the sort of things that were indicative that there might have been some substance to his claims,” said Coupar. “If they were real then there would have been opportunities for us to expand our business and that’s not the sort of thing we are going to ignore.”


An short article in "Airliners World" magazine had given him some extra credibility, enough to meet with the director of Jersey airport:

Quote
When he made contact with Jersey airport, his patter was convincing enough to effect a 90-minute face-to-face meeting with Julian Green, the airport’s director, who said last night: “Jersey airport can confirm it has had discussions with Adam Tait over recent weeks about an ambitious network of services between Jersey, the UK and Europe.


But the article in Airliners World was also the stone he stumbled over:

Quote
When Tait suggested further coverage, Maslen smelt a rat. His reporter recorded Tait talking, then played the tape to Coupar, who confirmed it was the same voice as “David Rich”.

The magazine suggested Tait do some photographs and he suggested Southend airport, where he said one of his company’s jets, a 93-seater BAe 146-200, was hangared.

Tait then contacted Airstream, the agent which markets the plane, and said his company wanted to lease it. Airstream took him at face value, even offering to pick him up and chauffeur him to the airport to inspect the plane.

The teenager’s plans were about to crash, however. Concerned about his stated intention to start up the plane’s engines, Airliner World tipped off police. Officers, who intercepted the teenager and a number of colleagues who he had brought with him, warned Airstream that Tait was using multiple names and it should have nothing further to do with him.


His family, who was not aware of the ongoing negotiations or his "business project", claimed he sufffered from autism, his father said:

Quote
...his son suffered from a form of autism and was “a phenomenal individual who is enterprising and creative” with an ability to recall the exact detail of every airline’s flight schedules. But the autism also made his behaviour highly challenging.

“He has been passionate about aeroplanes for about two years and his whole bedroom is plastered with them,” he said.

“Before that he came within two days of bringing the US cast of High School Musical to a 300-seat theatre in Shropshire by cutting and pasting mastheads from one company to another, masquerading as this or that.

“It would have happened, except when booking the hotel some queries were thrown up. I don’t know why he did it. He is not nasty or vindictive or malicious.”

-snip-

“People like him are not criminals, they are just misguided — they don’t understand what they are doing. Can someone grab hold of these people and harness their energy and use them for something that could be good?

“If someone with little or no education who has extreme enterprise and talent could have his energy channelled in the right direction, what could they achieve for themselves and our country?”


Rattler
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