Americana: Jet Lag

"My clients are honest, but they are totally indifferent to the value of money," complains Tom Evans of the oil-rich Arab sheiks whose sumptuous private planes are serviced by his Houston-based firm. One of his customers is Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, president of the United Arab Emirates, who paid $10 million in 1974 for a Grumman Gulfstream II, equipped with royal blue morocco-leather seats and gold seat-belt buckles.

Since February, says Evans, he has been trying to collect an overdue bill from the sheik for airplane fuel, parts and service totaling $188,464.81—pin money perhaps in Abu Dhabi but a...

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