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Possible Janet 737 sighting in Panama

From: (Glenn Campbell, Las Vegas)
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 20:18:34 -0800
Subject: Possible Janet 737 sighting in Panama

[Passed on to us from a correspondent who found it on the World-Wide Utility
Network (WUN).]

Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 20:37:44 -0500
From: "Robert J. Lewallyn"
Subject: Re: [WUN] B737 in GUATEMALA

At 05:03 PM 12/31/96 -0600, Juan Carlos Munoz wrote:

>I was able to LOG:
>On 6.739 With Albrook, Panama
>At 1410z:
. ....
>at 1510z:
>Albrook call to check radio reception.
>And SPAR A4 said we're 10 - 15 minutes to land in Guatemala.
>Then they ramp on the Military ramp
. ....
>I went to the airport and saw the airplane a:
>B737-200 (like)
>HW 20283
>Does anyone has more info about it ???

        I am almost certain that, based upon past intercepts, the "SPAR A4"
you heard was actually "SPAR 84".  The interesting thing is that this
aircraft has been identified several times as US Air Force 72-0284, a Boeing
CT-43A transport operated from Howard AFB in the Panama Canal Zone (hence
the 'HW' tail code) for the US Southern Command.  The aircraft you heard and
subsequently "optically" verified the identity of is USAF 72-0283,
evidentally also Howard-based, and performing the VIP transport mission.

        I wonder why the callsign wouldn't be SPAR 83, in keeping with the
last two digits of the serial number?

        As an aside, the Air Force purchased a number of these CT-43s (a
version of the Boeing 737-200 series airliner, as you noted) in the early
1970s for radar/navigator training.  A number of them were later converted
for VIP transport duty.  I saw something in one of the European aviation
buff magazines recently to the effect that several of these CT-43s are
somehow on "loan" to EG&G (the Las Vegas-based defense contractor), who uses
them to ferry civilian personnel to the high-security test facility at Groom
Lake, Nevada.

Bob Lewallyn  KC5PPV/4
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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