Chris Welch boarded it twice – both times without taking off
Tuesday 13th November. Diospi Suyana’s aerial tower in Puerto Maldonado had to be checked for a second time. A routine procedure for Chris Welch. At lunchtime he wanted to fly back to Cusco. According to the schedule flight LA2074 should land 35 minutes after departure. Whilst boarding the passengers heard an interesting noise coming from the plane’s left engine. Click on the below picture for an audio test. – Would you board the plane?
Everyone had just taken their seats when we were told to disembark. Apparently it really was a technical problem. Yet the crew’s announcements to this topic were vague to say the least. Okay, we headed back to the terminal building.
Later that afternoon we start our second attempt at departing. When climbing the metal steps the passengers notice a queasy feeling. It is all rather tedious today. Dusk had fallen by this point. The stewardess shared the usual security information: “Please fasten your seatbelts….!” Then everything goes black. Power failure. The time seemed to stand still. No more announcements were made. “We want to get out of here!“ call the first passengers, “we have lost trust in this aeroplane!”
Suddenly the lights go on again. The discussion with the crew gets more and more agitated. Finally the door opens. The fainthearted are allowed to leave the plane. Those remaining inside are left in confusion: “We are departing shortly,” is the next announcement from the cockpit. A short while later this announcement is revoked.
Finally we hear the pilot’s voice once again: “We cannot take off, due to bad weather in Cusco!”
Those still on the plane know full well that the captain is lying. To put it quite frankly the plane is unfit to fly, no discussion, full stop. 20 minutes later Chris joins the fray in front of Latam’s counter. Now what happens? The rumour mill is bubbling. A night in a hotel. Perhaps tomorrow there will be a replacement aircraft.