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Oracle chief sues city of San Jose

Private jet at centre of bust up

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If you thought the silly season ended once Christmas was out of the way, think again. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is suing the city of San Jose. Not one of the run-of-the-mill technology patent bust-ups this one, oh no. Ellison's beef is to do with his $38 million private jet and San Jose airport's takeoff curfew. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the city of San Jose has a no-takeoff rule between the hours of 11:30pm and 6:30am for planes that weight more than 75,000 pounds, on account of the noise. Ellison owns a Gulfstream V which – with a full payload of fuel - weighs in at 90,500 pounds. Sounds fairly straightforward, no? Well, no. Ellison is claiming that his plane is certified to takeoff under the same restrictions as a 75,000 pound plane and that it is much quieter than many smaller planes. Technically this is correct, but it hasn't stopped the San Jose authorities taking a dim view of Ellison's decision to fly outside the curfew rules. Ellison's plane has busted the curfew a total of nine times so far and he has received a number of warnings from the San Jose city officials telling him this must stop. But despite threats that legal action was on the cards, none has appeared. Which is why, apparently, Ellison's lawyers have taken the initiative. The action is being taken on Ellison's behalf by the company that look's after the Oracle chief when airborne – the (not-so) optimistically named Wing & A Prayer. According to Ellison's lawyer, one Edward P Davis Jr: "The city is trying to characterize Larry as this scofflaw who doesn't care about the regulations. It's simply a matter of this has to be resolved, and the best way to resolve it is in the courts." And you thought you had problems. ®

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