The following letter was posted in the Penguin News edition of this week, signed by GW Cheek, who for several decades was head of Civil Aviation in the Falkland Islands.
Without trying to be a kill-joy the statements made about the LATAM flight that arrived last Wednesday (from Brazil with a stopover in Cordoba) was the inaugural second weekly flight linking South America to the Falkland`s was incorrect as in fact the Argentine state airline, Lineas Aeras del Estado (LADE) inaugurated the second flight way back in May 1978.
This link was between Comodoro Rivadavia and Stanley Airport and the aircraft in use were the Fokker Friendship F27 and Fokker Fellowship F28.
Coincidentally these flights were also operated on a Saturday and a Wednesday.
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Interesting to hear that LADE operated these pre-conflict flights and the use of F-27 Friendships makes a lot of sense but Wiki says that they were restricted to 22 pax due to short runway length at Stanley, so I therefore question the use of F-28 Fellowships (jets) which would have presumably had even greater capacity restrictions, or am I wrong, Mr. Cheek?Nov 29th, 2019 - 10:15 am +1
One of these days someone with greater knowledge than me will publish a history of Falklands aviation (floatplanes and all) - should be a good read.
I think the twin jet F28 started when Stanley Airport was built and opened - the F27 started off using the Hookers Point metal strip- that was provided and laid by Argentina back in those days of them trying to befriend us.Nov 29th, 2019 - 11:45 am +1
Those F27 pilots were damned good to- recall one landing in strong cross winds-came in totally sideways and a few feet of runway pilot kicked the plane around and touched down, braked and swung around into the wind again. They were use to dodgy winds up and down Patagonia airstrips.
Was the time Arg was being tipped the wink and nod by London to be nice to us and give us lots of favours so we might learn to like them - and same FCO doing its best to quietly push us their way and actively make us more and more dependent on them.Nov 29th, 2019 - 10:02 pm +1
LADE Pilots used to come shopping in the West Store and buy load loads of Scotch- Corgi toys and whatever else was the kids craze if coming up to Xmas - and take back to Argentina and smile as they walked past Arg Customs - who could do nothing about ti as- they had just been shopping in the M- Islands and thus part of Argentina in their eyes - so could not charge them any taxes or import duty!!
Was the time of the infamous White Card - we had to travel on it only and not show a passport in case it upset them!