Andes Flight Disaster


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This is a presentation on the Andes Flight and group dynamics.

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Andes Flight Disaster

  2. 2. ANDES FLIGHT DISASTER • Fairchild FH-227 of Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, flight 571 Photo taken in the summer 1972.
  3. 3. THE STORY • Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known less formally as the Andes flight disaster, was an airline flight carrying 45 people that crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972. • The Andes Mountains are the longest and one of the highest mountain ranges in the world. They are located in South America and stretch 4,500 miles from north to south, along the west coast of the continent.
  4. 4. THE BEGINNING • On Friday the 13th of October, 1972, Uruguayan Air Force twin turboprop Fairchild FH-227 D was flying over the Andes carrying Stella Maris College’s “Old Christians” rugby union team from Montevideo, Uruguay to play a match in Santiago, Chile.
  6. 6. TRAVEL ROUTE • Map of South America
  7. 7. THE CRASH • Dipping into the cloud cover while still over the mountains, the Fairchild soon crashed on an unnamed peak (later called Cerro Seler, also known as Glaciar de las Lágrimas or Glacier of Tears), straddling the remote mountainous border between Chile and Argentina.
  8. 8. THE CRASH • The plane clipped the peak at 4200 m, neatly severing the right wing, leaving a gaping hole in the rear of the fuselage. The plane then clipped a second peak which severed the left wing and left the plane as just a fuselage flying through the air. The fuselage hit the ground and slid down a steep mountain slope before finally coming to rest in a snow bank.
  9. 9. DISASTER • Crash site
  10. 10. ON THE MOUNTAIN PEAK OF THE ANDES • Disaster site
  11. 11. FATALITIES • Of the 45 people on the plane, 12 died in the crash or shortly thereafter; another 5 had died by the next morning, and one more succumbed to injuries on the eighth day. The remaining 27 faced hard survival issues high in the freezing mountains. Many had suffered injuries from the crash including broken legs from the aircraft's seats piling together
  12. 12. MOUNTAIN RESCUE • On December 12, 1972, some 2 months after the crash, Parrado, Canessa and Vizintín began their trek up the mountain. • Parrado took the lead, and often had to be called to slow down, although the trek up the hill against gravity and in low-oxygen was difficult for all of them. • Although it was still bitterly cold, the sleeping bag allowed them to live through the nights.
  13. 13. SUMMARY • Date: October 13 – December 23, 1972 • Passengers: 40 • Crew: 5 • Fatalities: 29 • Number of days stranded: 72 • Survivors: 16
  14. 14. DISCUSSION POINTS • The group escaped from the crash site after nearly three months. But the group that came down from Andes was not the same group that began the chartered flight. • Why? What changes occurred?
  15. 15. CHANGES • The pattern of relationships among the group members, or the group's structure, had been altered. • How? Why?
  16. 16. CHANGES • The survivors began the ordeal without a leader but ended up with a plethora of "commanders," "lieutenants," and "explorers." • Men who were at first afforded little respect or courtesy eventually earned considerable status within the group
  17. 17. CHANGES • Some of the men who were well liked before the crash became outcasts, and some who hardly spoke to the others became active communicators within the group.
  18. 18. CHANGES • As the harsh environment taxed the group to the limit, new structures emerged that redefined • who would lead, clean, and explore (role structure) • who gave orders and who carried them out (authority structure) • who was liked and who was treated with contempt (attraction structure), and • who communicated frequently or only infrequently (communication structure). 
  19. 19. INSIGHTS • What conclusions can be drawn from the Andes flight disaster? • What can be said about group development? • What theoretical frameworks could be applied in this particular situation (CBT, REBT, Choice Theory and Logotherapy)? Why? Justify your answer/s.