ARGENTINA: THEY MYSTERY OF AVRO-LANCASTRIAN PLANE WHICH CRASHED IN 1947 IS EXPLAINEDRecord ID: 383718
- Title: ARGENTINA: THEY MYSTERY OF AVRO-LANCASTRIAN PLANE WHICH CRASHED IN 1947 IS EXPLAINED
- Date: 8th July 2000
- Summary: MENDOZA, ARGENTINA. (FILE) (REUTERS) 1. SLV BRITISH LANCASTER PLANE TAKING OFF, SIMILAR TO ONE THAT CRASHED IN THE ANDES (2 SHOTS) 0.09 2. AV MOUNTAIN AREA WHERE PLANE CRASHED (2 SHOTS) 0.18 3. SCU STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALEJO MOISO, MOUNTAINEER WHO DISCOVERED PLANE WRECKAGE 0.21 4. SLV MILITARY VEHICLES ON EXPEDITION TO RETRIEVE REMAINS OF PASSENGERS ON DOOMED PLANE (6 SHOTS) 0.53 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. (JULY 06, 2000) (REUTERS) 5. SLV NEWS CONFERENCE (2 SHOTS) 1.02 6. SCU MAJOR LUIS ESTRELLA, MEMBER OF TEAM INVESTIGATING CRASH, SHOWING PIECES OF THE PLANE RECOVERED FROM THE SITE 1.07 7. SCU OTHER PIECES OF THE PLANE DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (3 SHOTS) 1.16 8. MV ESTRELLA DURING SLIDE PRESENTATION EXPLAINING WHAT HAPPENED TO PLANE 1.23 9. SCU GRAPHIC SHOWING PLANES TRAJECTORY 1.38 10. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ESTRELLA SAYING "The cause of the accident was due to an error in navigation made by the crew and caused by the "jet stream" weather phenomenon which at the time, was still unknown, and generates a stream of air that causes a decrease in speed while in flight. If the pilot is unaware of that, the estimated distance is extremely inferior to that of the real distance." 2.11 11. SCU SLIDE DEMONSTRATING HOW THE JET STREAM WORKS AND THE PLANE CRASHING. 2.21 12. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ESTRELLA SAYING "The pilot estimated he was in one location when in reality he was in another." 2.25 13. SCU ESTRELLA WITH MEDIA 2.29 14. SCU MODEL OF PLANE 2.33 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVAB6EY1D0W3CVWH03EBPCKNP3IF
- Location: BUENOS AIRES AND MENDOZA, ARGENTINA
- Country: Argentina
- Duration: 00:02:34
- Story Text: The 53-year-old mystery of why a British
Avro-Lancastrian passenger plane slammed into the Andes
mountains has been explained by pilot error born of powerful
winds, the Argentine Air Force said Thursday (July 06).
The "Star Dust," a British South American Airways
plane adapted from a World War Two Lancaster bomber, went down
on August 2, 1947 in a glacier on the Tupungato volcano, one
of the highest peaks in the Americas. The plane's resting
place remained unknown until found last January by
The Argentine Army recovered mummified body parts of some
of six passengers and five crew who died. Wreckage hauled
form the accident site over 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) high
was scrutinized for six months by the Air Force to unravel the
enigma of the crash.
"The cause of the accident was due to an error in
navigation made by the crew and caused by the 'jet stream'
weather phenomenon which at the time, was still unknown, and
generates a stream of air that causes a decrease in speed
while in flight," Major Luis Ricardo Estrella, head of the
Air Force probe, told reporters. "If the pilot is unaware of
that, the estimated distance is extremely inferior to that of
the real distance."
"The pilot estimated he was in one location when in
reality he was in another," Estrella added.
Flying into the teeth of a blizzard, Captain Reginald
Cook and his crew estimated average wind speed of 45 knots (83
kph) and were oblivious to the fact that a potent jet stream
had dropped their speed below 100 knots (185 kph).
Flying blind in thick cloud, the "Star Dust" could not
see the 21,760 feet (6,800 metre) Tupungato looming ahead.
The plane hit the volcano's northeast flank and disintegrated.
The plane was nine miles (14 km) to the left of its
planned flight path between Tupungato and Aconcagua, the
highest peak outside the Himalayas at 22,841 feet (6,962
metres). The pilot thought he was four minutes shy of Chile's
Los Cerrillos airport when he crashed 34 nautical miles
(64km) off course.
Estrella leaned towards the lack of knowledge of jet
streams, which can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour
(500 kph), rather than blaming the "Star Dust" crew.
The 29-year-old Captain Cook was a decorated veteran of
Royal Air Force bombing raids who crossed the Andes eight
times as a co-pilot. The ill-fated "Star Dust" flight was his
first in command.
The "Star Dust" stayed hidden until two climbers
returning from a failed attempt to scale Tupungato's
forbidding eastern face came across one of its Rolls Royce
engines in 1998. A year later, a joint civilian-army patrol
confirmed the find.
Half a century after the accident, relatives eager for a
closure to the saga have sent blood samples from Britain,
Chile and Canada to match up with DNA from the remains. The
forensic coroners in Buenos Aires expect results by the end of
More bits of the plane lie churned within the glacier but
no more retrieval missions are in the cars, Estrella said.
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