On 31 August 1999, the crash of The Argentine Private Airlines Flight 3142 (LAPA), the fourth most serious accident in the history of Argentine aviation, occurred. A total of 103 people (98 passengers and 5 crew members) were on board, 65 of whom died after the accident and 34 were injured. The aircraft that suffered the accident was a Boeing 737-204C, which was to transport, on a regular flight, such passengers from the Jorge Newbery Aeropark to the city of Cordoba.
Images of the cranes after the accident.
What caused the accident was engine failures and the non-use of wing flaps, which never allowed the aircraft to fly, which caused it to continue its ground race. Thus, the plane crossed Avenida Costanera Norte, colliding with a car, road machines, an embankment and a gas regulatory plant. The collision with the latter caused a fire to be generated by the exhaust of fuel and gas, which caused the deaths of those who had survived the initial accident.
Although Gustavo Weigel, the commander, and Luis Etcheverry, the co-pilot died on the spot, several LAPA executives and Air Force officials responsible for the checks were criminally charged and brought to trial in 2005.However, all the defendants were acquitted. Only Operations Manager Valerio Francisco Diehl and Boeing 737-200 Line Chief Gabriel Maria Borsani were sentenced to three years in prison in 2010, but their sentences were overturned by the judges’ delay, which had exceeded legal deadlines.
In the middle, in black, Gustavo Andrés Deutsch, one of the owners of LAPA.
By the accident, the company’s reputation declined and thus its revenue. Thus, four years after the tragedy, on 20 April 2003, LAPA went bankrupt and ceased its activity. Today, this case is used internationally as an example of judicial impunity, as none of those responsible received a conviction. At 21 years after that, the accident was used as a reference in films, series and aviation documentaries such as Whisky Romeo Zulu.