Over the years Southern Air has been associated with covert ops and or ops
for which plausible deniability would be beneficial. They ran ops in South Vietnam (see the SAT
pix in the database) and more recently were involved in South American ugliness between the Contras & Sandinistas.
You may recall back in '86 a civilian C123 was shot down at low level down in South America near the above mentioned ugliness. Had a 3 man crew -- pilot, copilot, and kicker. Pilot and Co-pilot were killed. Kicker was blown out the open cargo door and opened his chute. He was captured and was in possession of a Southern Air employee ID
card. Name of Hassenfuss (sp?) as I recall.
As I recall the relationship between SAT
and the agency came out in the open and Congress order the agency involved to divest itself of Southern Air. The agency did and Southern Air has been in and out business several times since. The theory I've heard is that the agency now encourages the rebirth of Southern Air to generate controversy and thereby divert attention from its airlift operations elsewhere.
It got so bad that when a Southern Air L382G (civilian C-130) crashed at Kelly AFB in Oct of '86 a Congressional representative from Texas accused the crashed airplane and crew of running guns to South America. In fact the aircraft was on a regular logistics run for the USAF
and was not leaving the country. The crew were acquaintances of mine and I was waiting the arrival of the flight at their last stop (in the CONUS). A bad day all around.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill