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Take this plane to La Fria!

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My own private jet and no one there to enjoy it with me!

While working in the Shell-Amuay refinery on the Peninsula de Paraguana in Venezuela in 1972, my boss, Pete Huhtenan, called from the GE office in Caracas. Another client, Cadafe, needed me in an emergency in the city of La Fria. Their "black start" frame 5 gas turbine had starting problems with the torque converter. Pete said there would be a plane at the airport to fly me there.

Sure enough, there was an Avensa plane waiting. It was something small, like a twin-engine commercial jet, as I recall, that had seating for about 50 passengers and I was the ONLY passenger. There were two flight attendants and two pilots and ME! We flew non-stop to La Fria, about a one hour flight to the south.

I worked all night into the early morning and finally got the gas turbine running. My car driver took me to the hotel where I slept a few hours. I had breakfast and looked out the window of the restaurant and saw the driver's car was still there. I went outside and he asked me if I wanted to go to the "aeropuerto." I said, Si. I went back into the hotel to get my overnight bag. We went to the airport and there was the Avensa plane waiting for me.

We flew (same airplane, same crew, same flight attendents) back to Amuay. Unbelievable! I had my own private jet! I had no plane ticket, no hotel receipt (paid for by Cadafe) and no way to prove I ever took the flight. Amazing, but true!

Dave Lucier (FEP-1968)

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Last modified Friday, Mar-17-2006 01:34 PM
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