1987 Alianza Lima air disaster

1987 Alianza Lima air disaster

Unreferenced|date=October 2006

The Alianza Lima air disaster was an aircraft accident on December 8, 1987 in which 43 people associated with the Peruvian Alianza Lima football (soccer) team died.


The Alianza Lima air disaster happened on 7 December, 1987, when a plane carrying almost the entire Alianza Lima squad, plus members of the cheer squad and the coaching staff, crashed into the sea by Ventanilla, some six miles from the intended destination, the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Callao just outside Lima, killing everyone on board except the pilot. In all, 43 people died.

The team was returning from a match against Deportivo Pucallpa for the Peruvian Football Championship at the time of the crash. The match was won 1-0, with Carlos Bustamante scoring. The crash was tragic in Peru sports history since Alianza Lima was then in first place of the league. Although it was close to the end of the championship, the Peruvian Football Federation and the participating clubs did not cut the tournament short. Alianza Lima finished the championship with retired players, like Teófilo Cubillas and César Cueto, with youngsters and a few players on loan from Chilean club Colo Colo.

Investigation and reasons

Years later, according to the Peruvian television program "La Ventana Indiscreta", the Naval Aviation Commission found that pilot inexperience in flying at night, a misreading of the manual of procedures for emergency situations and poor condition of the aircraft contributed to the accident.Cite web|url=http://www.livinginperu.com/news/2562|title=New revelations about plane crash killing Peruvian football team 19 years ago|accessdate=2006-10-14|publisher=Living in Peru|year=2006]

According to reporter Cecilia Valenzuela, the complete official file containing the Commission's findings was taken illegally to Florida in the United States by Edmundo Mercado Pérez, the former Peruvian Navy captain who presided over the investigation, where it remained locked in a US bank for 19 years.

According to the file, the pilot Edilberto Villar had logged 5.3 hours of night flying in the 90 days preceding the accident, 3.3 of them in the preceding 60 days, and no night flying at all in the preceding 30 days.

The file also indicated the copilot, First Lieutenant César Morales, had logged only one hour of night flying in the 90 days preceding the accident, half an hour in the preceding 60 days and no night flying at all in the preceding 30 days.

According to the report, the maintenance log book for Fokker F-27, given to the pilot before takeoff, showed a series of mechanical deficiencies and initially Lieutenant Villar was so concerned he refused to fly the aircraft.

The Naval Aviation Commission report of February 1988 indicates that halfway through the flight from Pucallpa to Lima, the crew noted a possible malfunction of the landing gear. The warning panel indicated that the landing gear had not lowered, however "Corporación Peruana de Aeropuertos y Aviación Comercial" (CORPAC), in charge of air navigation support, checked this with their observers on the ground, and informed the pilot that he was able to land safely.

According to the report, the pilot ordered his copilot to check the manual procedure for this emergency situation, in order to find a solution. The relevant manuals were written in English however, a language in which copilot César Morales was not completely fluent. He incorrectly read instruction red instead of instruction 1.4.3 orange.

In a letter by the firm Fokker dated October 16 1986, the airplane manufacturer indicates that the pilot Edilberto Villar had had not passed a special training course which could have prevented “his disorientation while operating under pressure, the excessive demand of work in a cabin”, but in spite of the failed test he was regarded as a pilot.

The copilot, César Morales, had never received training from Fokker. [Cite web|url=http://www.elcomercioperu.com.pe/EdicionOnline/Html/2006-10-10/onEcDeportes0593728.html|title=Directiva de Alianza consternada al saber la verdad sobre la tragedia de 1987] [Cite web|url=http://www.terra.com.pe/deportes/articulo/html/dep204924.htm|title= Directiva de Alianza Lima consternada al conocer verdad de tragedia del Fokker en 1987]


Three people initially survived the crash: Alianza Lima midfielder Alfredo Tomassini, a member of the crew, and pilot Edilberto Villar. Villar declared that he escaped through a broken window and when he was swimming, he heard Tomassini was asking for help and he gave him a cylinder. He wrote in his report that Tomassini, who was an expert swimmer, showed apathy to keep swimming despite being tall and athletic. In his report, he never said that Tomassini was injured but later he told his lawyer another version in which the player had a fractured leg. By the time they were floating it was 8 p.m. and he knew that they had to resist until morning. The other survivor was a member of the crew who quit insulting the pilot then disappeared. The pilot said that the player drowned after three times that he got him out of the water. He said that he had to let him drown.


José Gonzales Ganoza
José Mendoza
Gino Peña
Tomás Farfán
Cesar Sussoni
Willy León
Daniel Reyes
Ignacio Garretón
José Casanova
Carlos Bustamante
Aldo Chamochumbi
Tiled Braulio
Johnny Watson
Alfredo Tomassini
Milton Cavero
Luis Escobar
Marcos Calderón
Andrés Tosses
Washington Gómez
Santiago Miranda
Orestes Suárez
Rolando Gálvez
Along with the players some fans who travelled with the team died.


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