January 1 marks the 50th anniversary of Fidel Castro's assumption of power in Cuba, and it also marks the 50th anniversary of a new life for the Cajigas family. In his excellent book, A Pilot's History (which AVweb serialized over the past year), Carl Moesly wrote of the daring rescue of a wealthy Cuban family in the corporate DC-3 he flew for American tycoon Arthur Vining Davis. The code words for initiating the rescue were, "The fish are biting; bring the big car." The first part referred to Castro; the second, to Davis's luxurious airplane. In a mad dash to a farm strip on the Isle of Pines, as Castro's forces were taking control of the country, Moesly flew the family of Francesco Cajigas to the safety of Miami. Over the years, the family told children and grandchildren of the flight and the code words that saved their lives, words that jumped off the screen at Luigi Cajigas when he read them on AVweb.
His mother, Adriana Cajigas, was a frightened 12-year-old on that plane 50 years ago, and she spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about the fateful flight.