The pilot for Jeffrey Epstein did not do a good job of keeping his identity a secret, but he did anything in his power to avoid his being called into question.
Now that that’s over, the veteran pilot is speaking out about his experience with Epstein, a billionaire financier who has been accused of molesting minors. Epstein is believed to have controlled a large part of Hollywood over a roughly 20-year period and frequently gave his jet to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta and Martin Sheen to fly clients around the world.
Jeffrey Nairn is an ultra-secretive friend of Jeffrey Epstein. A pilot and test pilot for Epstein’s airplane, Nairn has been permitted to speak out publicly on the matter — for now.
Nairn has now revealed the names of 15 stars and at least one British royal who flew on Epstein’s personal plane as it flew the rich and famous around the world.
“I was flying as a test pilot for Epstein and so had access to VIP clients,” he told The Daily Mail. “Naturally it was my intention to do everything in my power to keep those clients safe from unwanted advances.”
The names of those who flew on Epstein’s jet were held tightly and approved by his attorneys, Nairn explained. However, they were easily leaked. That’s because Epstein’s jets were equipped with “burner” aircraft that the Epstein family owned and had swapped with regular jets for trips around the world.
There were four primary burners and Nairn was responsible for protecting their identities.
“There was definitely some malice involved. Part of Epstein’s defense was that he was a victim of a vigilante group who seized on what they saw as his poor choices,” Nairn said. “I very much enjoyed flying for him — not just the celebrities, but also the princes and members of royalty.”
The two-time helicopter pilot continued: “It was a dream job for me. I did it for over a decade.”
Epstein allegedly took Nairn’s advice and avoided flying in known red zones, such as the China Basin area in San Francisco or the mountains of Colorado, until after the book “Flight Club: How Rich People Really Play The Flight Club” was published. The book explains the pressure Epstein put on pilots to fly in riskier and more dangerous zones.
“He asked me to fly at a very high altitude — above 7,000 feet. At this altitude you can fly with no preparation at all — you just have to trust you have the right skills,” Nairn recalled of a flight from Budapest to New York where “I was forced to descend, slowly, as I watched what looked like a dead body ahead of me.”
The ultra-secretive pilot revealed how Epstein’s girlfriends would have piloting lessons to ready themselves for piloting high-risk flights. Epstein’s victims included a number of minor children, as well as adult women. The reports of the underage girls who fell victim to Epstein have resurfaced in the press, including in 2017 when the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Barbara McQuade, wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley about the investigation into Epstein’s alleged abuse.
Nairn was a frequent collaborator with Epstein and the flying was part of his charms.
“Airlines are private companies and Epstein believed it was his duty to ensure they were safe,” he explained. “His girlfriend, who was primarily a pilot, used to insist on flying with me. The ‘enjoyment’ and his ‘express pleasure’ were mutually exclusive. I think the reason is that he used his relationship with me as leverage.”