SNAPSHOT: Postcard from Colombia

Regular contributor Ron Mak ventured to the jungles of Colombia in 1980 and provides us with a snapshot of his daytrip to the city of Villavicencio.

The author’s ride was a Douglas C-54G, FAC-1105 (c/n 36024). This example was delivered to the USAAF with serial number 45-0571 in August 1945, before being leased to Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) as N88943 ‘Clipper Golden Express’ and later to United Airlines and Flying Tiger Line. It was returned to the US military in 1954 before being bought by SATENA in 1968. The aircraft was eventually withdrawn from use and stored at Bogotá.

SATENA’s Douglas C-54G could accommodate 56 passengers along with five crew members.
After disembarkation at Villavicencio, the aircraft is prepared for its next two-hour, 529-mile (852km) journey to Puerto Carreño – located on the border with Venezuela. It will return to Villavicencio for its final onward trip to the capital in the late afternoon.

On November 16, 1980 the author caught the early morning SATENA link from the capital Bogotá/El Dorado to Villavicencio/La Vanguardia; located in central Colombia.

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