New search seeks aircraft that crashed 50 years ago

A 50-year-old Costa Rican mystery is about to become a movie.

Argentine documentary film makers are arriving today in Costa Rica in search of more information and perhaps even the Fuerza Aérea Argentina aircraft that vanished in 1965.

The aircraft carried 69 officers and cadets who were traveling on the first leg of a trip from Panamá to El Salvador.

The film is called “La Ultima Busqueda,” meaning the last search. The director is Pepe Tobal, who will be with the group in the Talamanca mountains. Also with the group is  Cecilia Viberti, the daughter of the pilot of the doomed plane, Esteban Viberti.

The movie makers said there have been 28 searches for the aircraft, which is presumed to have gone down in the rugged Talamancas in southeastern Costa Rica.

The TC-48 aircraft suffered an engine fire while it was in Costa Rican air space. The movie makers report that a LACSA pilot suggested by radio that Viberti land in Limón.

His last message was picked up by operators in a control tower in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The pilot said he did not have a good fix on the plane’s location.

That was Nov. 3, 1965.

The searchers plan to spend eight days in the mountains in the vicinity of the Río La Estrella.

Geologist Wilfredo Rojas and mountain expert  José Campos have conducted a number of searches over the last 20 years.  Campos is leading the current expedition, said a spokesman for the Argentines.

That a downed aircraft could be hidden in Costa Rica is not beyond belief.

In February 2008 officials Tuesday came upon the wreckage of a single-engine aircraft that vanished in 1943.

The aircraft was owned by the military forces of Chile and was en route from the United States to that country along with other similar aircraft when it vanished.

The military trainer, which carried a pilot and a mechanic, was near Cerro de la Muerte, the highest peak in Costa Rica.

Then, too, it is possible that some residents know the site of the Argentine crash and just never reported it.

That was the case with the Chilean aircraft. Officials said some neighbors harvested metal parts for resale. Some pieces of the aircraft were found at the homes of neighbors.  The site is wooded and the aircraft could not be seen from the air.

The Argentine film is scheduled to be released in November.searchers092315

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