Flying for the CIA’s Air America in South East Asia

In 1964, pilot Captain Hansen found himself unemployed. He began to send out feelers to several companies including one that had placed an ad in the Washington Post called Air America. When he was called in for an interview which primarily consisted of two questions – can you fly good and do you drink a lot.

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Air America was the airline owned by the CIA. Its operations were unknown. Its schedules were irregular. Its pilots were shadow people. Its world was the world of spooks, covert air ops, adventure, and danger. Hansen would be flying in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and other locations in Southeast Asia. It could not have been a better fit for Hansen, an addicted adrenaline junkie. He would end up staying in Asia for over a decade and was fortunate enough to live to tell us about it in his book “Flight”

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I am delighted to welcome Neil Hansen to our Cold War conversation…

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