Saturday, March 04, 2006

Op. Firedump: 3C-QRF May Escape

Worrying news has reached me from various sources that the San Air General Trading BAC-111 s/n 61, 3C-QRF, formerly used to bring arms into the DRC, host secret meetings with Libyan spooks and ferry around the girls of Hustler magazine, may yet escape from Bucharest before being condemned under the UN freeze list.

The story does not yet seem entirely clear, but the concern is that the aircraft may be re-registered 5A-DKO and flown to Libya, there to join various other Jetline International veterans at a new firm called Libavia (or perhaps "Pyramid") for VIP tasks. Already there are 5A-DKR and 5A-DKT, the two Ilyushin-62 "VC10skis" formerly of blacklisted Boutcos Air Bas and Centrafrican Airlines (ex 3C-QQR and 3C-QQZ), one of which went from Air Bas to Jetline, then back to Air Bas on its way to Libya.

According to information received, a new engine has been shipped from Malta to Romania to put the plane in flying condition. There are reasons for doubt, though, as another Jetline International BAC-111 in VIP fit, VP-BBA, is at Bucharest. The sources claim that 3C-QRF is at Otopeni, the international airport, however lists it as stored at Baneasa with VP-BBA at Otopeni for delivery to Libya as 5A-DKO.

It goes without saying that Romania has an obligation to seize this aircraft in accordance with UNSCR 1532 (details here.)

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