Tail Numbers Gold Coast Terminal, Las Vegas, NV Distance ~ 1 mile 5:27 p.m.
Serial Number: 20785

Built in 1973, this aircraft was first owned by the Canadian company Pacific Western Airlines until EG&G gained operational control over the plane in 1983. Curiously, the plane was first sold to a Panamanian company called “Aircraft Trading and Services, Inc.” who immediately sold the plane to “American Leasing Investors V-A” from whom EG&G leased the plane.

With EG&G flights beginning in 1983, this plane is the longest-running 737 in the Janet fleet (most of the other planes began flying as Janets in the mid 1990s). It is also an unusual Janet because, unlike the others, it has always been a “real” 737, unlike the others originally built as T-43A trainers for the Air Force. Moreover, the plane’s ownership history tells a remarkable story.

The planes’ owners, “American Leasing Investors V-A” was a partnership between Selig A. Zises, Jay H. Zises, and Arthur H. Goldberg, a collection of New York financers. Selig Zises was the chairman of Integrated Resources, Inc., a financial services company known for creating tax shelters and a part of junk-bond king Michael Milken’s “daisy-chain” of clients. When Milken’s pyramid scheme fell apart in the late 1980s, the Zises brothers left Integrated Resources. A few months later the company defaulted on its loans and collapsed. In 1991, Goldberg and the Zises brothers cancelled their lease with EG&G Special Projects, and ownership of the plane changed to the First Security Bank of Utah. EG&G in turn began leasing the plane from the bank. On December 7, 1995, First Security Bank sold the aircraft to the Department of the Air Force. EG&G Special Projects still operates the aircraft.

In recent years, Jay Zises has been the president of “Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces,” a close friend of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and a major contributor to Senator Joseph Lieberman, George Bush, the Republican National Committee, and to the Club for Growth. His brother Selig Zises is now a major investor in Xenonics – a company that sells lighting systems and night vision equipment to the military and whose stock value increased many times over with the US invasion of Iraq. Selig maintains intimate ties to Washington, contributing large amounts of money to both Democratic and Republican candidates.

Arthur H. Goldberg is on the board of Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum.

Serial Number: 20689

This plane was manufactured in 1974 and was used by the 323rd Flying Training Wing at Mather Air Force Base as a T43-A trainer for several decades.

In May 1992, control over the plane was transferred to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio (headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command). Later that year, the plane was certified by the Department of the Air Force in Utah, who still own the aircraft.
737 operating for Keyway Air Transport Co.
Photo Credit: JC, A Scottish Spotter, 1989

Serial Number: 20692

This aircraft has an almost identical history to N5175U. Both spent decades as T43-A trainers for the 323rd Flying Training Wing at Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento, California before being transferred to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1992 and certified by the Department of the Air Force in Utah.

Serial Number: 20693

This aircraft has an extremely interesting past. Like most of the other Janets, this plane was originally a T43-A Air Force Trainer. However, in 1987, the plane was transferred to an outfit called “Keyway Air Transport” for whom it flew using the tail number N99890 at first and later using the tail number N57JE. From 1987 until 1992, the plane was largely based in Frankfurt, Germany. German planespotters active in the late 1980s and early 1990s were familiar with the unusual plane: they suspected it of flying for either the Central Intelligence Agency or for the National Security Agency.

In researching this plane’s history, I found a Scottish planespotter who had photographed the plane in Frankfurt, Germany. When I asked “J.C” (he asked me not to reveal his name) about this photograph and why he thought the plane was attached to the CIA, he told me the following:
“As you may realise, T-43's are quite scarce in the UK, especially as I stay in Aberdeen on the North East Coast of Scotland. At the time [the photo] was taken, N99890 was my second T-43. I'd seen my first at Fairford the previous month in USAF scheme.

“It was taken from an airfield tour bus through the window, (hence the poor quality), on the side of the new runway which is at about 90 degrees to the original runways, heading away from Frankfurt Main, Germany airport (civil side). The driver of the bus said it was "CIA operated", (and not to take any picture's, in my case I was to quick, and he hadn't noticed) and parked behind the main buildings at Rhein Main, Germany, over about 4/6 weeks, when not flying if I remember correctly, and it apparently flew frequently, mostly at night. I suspect along the East/West German border?

“In all honesty if he hadn't mentioned it at the time I would have put it down as a civil 737, and only noticed it was a T-43 when I started to sort out my slides on my return home, to Scotland. Indeed it was some years before I was able to start gleaning any info on it (e.g. c/n, line no, previous identity's etc.), and this took some years. None of my books had any reference to it, and there was no internet in the late 1980s.

“To conclude. Most of the people (German that is) I talked to about the plane during the airfield tour seemed to be aware of it. At least one of the baggage handlers mentioned “Key Way.” Who was operating it? CIA? (Key Way Transport, Inc?)? And why it was there? Was it very good job of disinformation? I think, we, "Joe public", won't get the truth until someone who was actually involved with its operation at that time writes his or her memoirs.

“I've asked your question of myself on many occasions and never really worked out a satisfactory answer, and have been dreading that someone might ask it. The world was very different then, the "Cold War" seemed to stabilize things. Since the "Iron Curtain" came down the whole world seems to be going mad.”

-J.C., a Scottish Spotter

Registration documents on file with the Federal Aviation Administration for this aircraft go only as far back as 1992, when the Department of the Air Force (re)acquired the plane.

Serial Number: 20691

Like most of the other Janet 737s, this plane was used by the Air Force as a T-43A trainer from 1974 until 1994, when it acquired new life as one of EG&G Special Projects’ shuttles. The plane is owned by the Department of the Air Force and operated by EG&G Special Projects.

Serial Number: 20694

This plane was used by the Air Force as a T-43A trainer from 1974 until 1994, when it became one of the EG&G Special Projects’ shuttles.

The plane is owned by the Department of the Air Force. It is operated by EG&G.
©2006 Trevor Paglen