The curious case of N9GY

Taken without permission from Photobucket. Click for original.

Taken without permission from Photobucket. Click for original.

Back in July, Venezuelan General Hugo “Pollo” Carvajal arrived in Aruba by plane to take up his new position as a diplomat on the Caribbean island nation. Instead of going to a plush office to stamp visas, he was sent to jail for potential extradition to the USA on a freshly unsealed indictment for drug charges. Over the next few days, Venezuela reportedly did whatever it could to get Carvajal back, including raising the threat of military action. Carvajal was eventually freed, made persona non grata in Aruba, and sent home.

As I wrote at the time, one of the oddest parts of the whole affair was the widespread rumor that the plane that ferried Carvajal to Aruba had tail number N9GY. That plane is registered to a Delaware company called Global Air Services Corp. According to a record filed with the Texas secretary of state, Global Air Services Corp. is ultimately part of the far-flung corporate empire of Venezuela-American oilfield supply impresario Roberto Rincón.

César Batiz wrote a long, fascinating profile of Rincón over the weekend in Armando.Info, a relatively new Venezuelan investigative reporting outfit. I helped with the story, mostly gathering information on Rincón’s Texas companies and planes. There is one very curious piece of this that you, dear reader, may be able to help explain.

Plane owners can keep their real-time flight records off of websites like by filing a confidentiality request with the US Federal Aviation Administration. However, flight records are still public documents. We filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FAA to get flight records for N9GY. Here’s what we got for the dates in question:

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As you can see, the records show the plane arriving at Orlando July 18 and not leaving again until August 5. But we have people around the Caribbean claiming to have seen that plane during that period. And then, on August 6, the plane got to Merritt Island, without ever registering a flight to get there.

So what happened? Can someone in the aviation world help explain this to me?

2 thoughts on “The curious case of N9GY

  1. notiven

    Hi Setty:

    Back in July on a piece you did on the issue you said …Did he ( Carvajal ) really travel to Aruba on N9GY,?… And it was a question I could not answer either. I am a big fan of airplane tracking ( * ) and I could not find any information on that plane, not on Arubas records, nor any other site that allow you to recreate what happened to the plane, not ´later on airplane picture taker’s sites.

    So first I congratulate you on doing a FOIA do get these records, although my comments don´t answer your question of what happened to the plane.

    What I have learned on these matters that would try to answer your question is that there are planes used by the CIA, DEA and other 3 letter US official and not official offices that control the whole issue of registering , exporting , importing, sale and resale of planes and then control the flow of information that the FAA generates that is then used by services like FlighAware. These are called at times phantom flights or ghosts flights.

    The best way to find out if the plane was there would be to get lucky enough and get a picture of the plane in the tarmac, and then ask the FAA that created the FOIA report why is it not there, question that they will not give an intelligent answer if they answer at all.

    One of my favorite author in these issues is Daniel Hopsicker over at , I have been following for many years now – 8 or 9, and even met him. He has written a lot about the plane called Cocaine1, the DC-9 full of bags with cocaine busted in Mexico many years ago and for which Carvajal is responsible and you probably read in the indictment.

    ( * ) On my side I did an investigation and determined back in 2011 that a plane captured in Coro with over 1,000 kilos was a clone of a plane that was in Belize Here is the report in Spanish and the English version is here


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