49 Years ago today: On 24 December 1971 a LANSA Lockheed Electra crashed into the jungle following inflight breakup in turbulence near Puerto Inca, Peru; killing 91 out of 92 occupants.
|Date:||Friday 24 December 1971|
Lockheed L-188A Electra
|Operator:||Lineas Aéreas Nacionales S.A. – LANSA|
|C/n / msn:||1086|
|First flight:||1959-08-22 (12 years 4 months)|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 85 / Occupants: 86|
|Total:||Fatalities: 91 / Occupants: 92|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Puerto Inca ( Peru)|
|Phase:||En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Lima-Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM/SPIM), Peru|
|Destination airport:||Pucallpa Airport (PCL/SPCL), Peru|
About forty minutes after takeoff, the aircraft entered a zone of strong turbulence and lightning. After flying for twenty minutes in this weather at FL210 lightning struck the aircraft, causing fire on the right wing which separated, along with part of the left wing. The aircraft crashed in flames into mountainous terrain. Structural failure occurred because of the loads imposed on the aircraft flying through a severe thunderstorm, but also because of stresses resulting from the maneuver to level out the aircraft.
A 17-year-old German Peruvian, Juliane Koepcke, survived the accident. Despite sustaining a broken collar bone, a deep gash to her right arm, a concussion and an eye injury in the fall, she was able to trek through the dense Amazon jungle for 10 days, until she was rescued by local lumbermen.