Was it a “see-no-evil, hear-no-evil” situation?
The mega-wealth financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was known to make copious use of his private aircraft for travels between his homes in Florida and New York, as well as a private island in the Caribbean — often accompanied by big-name celebrities and so many very young women a plane was nicknamed “Lolita Express.”
What actually happened on the plane has remained known mainly to its passengers, and thanks to testimony from two former Epstein pilots in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial currently underway, the rest of the world found out why:
According to pilots Larry Visoski and David Rodgers, the cockpit door of Epstein’s aircraft was kept closed as a rule, preventing the pilots from seeing exactly what was happening in the cabin behind them.
Maxwell is charged with six counts related to child sex trafficking, according to The New York Times. Her trial in a federal court in the Southern District of New York was adjourned Thursday because of an attorney’s illness.
It is likely to resume Friday.
On the witness stand last week, Visoski, who had flown Epstein on a private basis since 1991, said the cockpit was separated from the plane’s passengers by a door that was always closed, according to the Times.
On the stand Wednesday, Rodgers also said the cockpit door was closed, according to Inner City Press, which covers the federal circuit court for the Southern District of New York.
Neither man was apparently asked why that was the custom aboard Epstein’s planes, and there could have been a good reason — cutting down on distractions for pilots, for instance, with all the celebrities around.
Maxwell Trial Tracker: Epstein's pilot just said that Clinton flew on the plane many times. We know of 26 locations Clinton flew with Epstein. This is getting dangerous.
I PRAY everyone of his/her victims GET 💯JUSTICE #GhislaineMaxwell #JefferyEpstein https://t.co/9McXCqKASu
— Baski (@Baski1961) December 2, 2021
However, the practice is an unusual one, judging by an Insider report from September 2020 about the differences between being a commercial pilot and a private pilot.
Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, of course, access to the cockpit in commercial planes is prevented by locked doors, the article notes:
“On the private side, however, the cockpit doors are normally left open. Passengers can see everything that’s going on and come visit during the flight. Some private aircraft don’t even have cockpit doors with most light and propeller aircraft, namely, having open environments and little to no boundaries between the passenger cabin and cockpit.”
Note that the Insider piece, written from a pilot’s point of view, stresses that “passengers can see everything that’s going on.” The flip side of that, of course, is that pilots, when not engaged directly in flying the plane, could see everything going on in the aircraft around them.
Given the details about depravity that have emerged during the Maxwell trial, it’s not overly suspicious for a reasonable observer to think that Epstein & Co. might have had activities going on aboard the “Lolita Express” or one of its sister aircraft that just maybe they didn’t want anyone besides themselves to be privy to.
Maybe all parties involved preferred that door to be separating the pilot and the others aboard.
Some social media users were skeptical of the arrangement:
Also my eyes were closed and my hands were over my ears and I was yelling "LALALALLALALA" as loud as I could
— Wurst Person U Know (@K1zzleb1zzle) November 30, 2021
Two words: Plausible Deniability
— GeorgeAdventure (@georgeadventure) November 30, 2021
It’s important to note, of course, that both pilots, during their testimony — under oath — said they’d never witnessed any sexual activity aboard Epstein’s planes while they were flying them.
Under cross-examination by Maxwell attorney Christian Everdell, according to the Times, Visoski even acknowledged that the cockpit door being closed was not a mandate from Epstein, and that he was free to move about the aircraft to, say, use the restroom.
But the practice aboard the plane, according to both pilots, was that the pilot was shut off from the passengers by a closed cockpit door — and passengers and their host Jeffrey Epstein were closed off from the pilot.
Neither man testified that he saw sex taking place on board the plane. If that’s the case, it appears to be the only place in his world where Jeffrey Epstein did not engage in sex — with willing or unwilling partners.
But it was a place where, with the cockpit door closed — a reportedly rare practice in private aviation — a pilot could neither see nor hear what was happening behind him.
That seems to have suited all concerned just fine.