Lost and Confused: The crash of Varig flight 254

The cockpit of Varig flight 254 peers through the jungle where it came to rest after a forced landing. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
A period advertisement for Varig. (Vintage Airliners)
PP-VMK, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Clint Groves)
What should have been the route of the last leg of flight 254. (Google + own work)
A CGI image of flight 254 departing Marabá. (Mayday)
With the help of this compass, can you figure out the mistake the pilots made? (Scouts South Africa)
What the pilots may have seen as they approached the unidentified river. (Google)
Where flight 254 actually flew… (Google + own work)
The full course of flight 254, with the exact location where it went down. (Google + own work)
This CGI animation of flight 254’s forced landing appeared in Mayday season 14 episode 3: “Vanishing Act.”
The fuselage came to rest intact, leaning somewhat over on its right side. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
A woman and a child at the crash site. (G1 Globo)
The inside of the plane after the crash. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Survivors sit near the plane. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
A Brazilian newspaper announces the discovery of the survivors. (Jornal do Brasil)
A soldier works at the crash site. (Aviation Brasil News)
A recreation of what flight 254’s flight plan would have looked like. (Mayday)
This was the view which greeted rescuers when they first arrived at the site. (G1 Globo)
Another view of flight the cockpit where it came to rest. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
The back of the plane, where several passengers escaped immediately after the crash. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Another view of the branch-covered tail section. (UaiSôMochilando)
Rescuers remove a body from the crash site. (Celso Bruno)
A poster for the talk given by Nilson Zille in 2019. (Escola de Aviação Congonhas
Nilson Zille poses with his book about the accident. (ASA)
During the game, which took place as flight 254 was in the air, a fan threw a flare at the Chilean goalkeeper, who pretended it hit him, causing Chile to abandon the game. The match was so dramatic that it was not hard to believe the pilots could have been sucked in too. (El Gráfico)
By the time this picture was taken, it appears the jungle was already starting to reclaim the fuselage. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Another newspaper headline from the aftermath of the accident. (Folha de São Paulo)



Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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