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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Crash landing

The tragic crash of Air Force Flight 571
Netflix’s new story based on true tragedy for a group of young Uruguayan boys.

In 1972, a group of Uruguayan friends and teammates tragically crash-land their vacation plane into the heart of the Andes Mountains and must use each other to survive and escape. Throughout this movie, we follow narrator, and real-life victim Numa Turcatti (Enzo Vogrinic) as he and his peers do everything they can to survive.

Over the years, many true story tragedies have been turned into cinematic material and this is one to add.

Numa, a friend of rugby player Nando Parrado (Agustin Pardella), was ultimately convinced to come on a four day trip that would involve the group playing rugby. Accompanying them would be a few parents, siblings, etc. All in all, the flight consisted of 45 total Uruguayans of all ages, and gender.

The trip needed to cross the legendary Andes mountains in order to eventually reach Santiago, Chile for a thrilling vacation for the group of boys. After being on the flight for a while, screen-shaking turbulence displayed itself as a potential issue throughout the flight. Hearing the calm, yet chilling voice of Numa created suspense throughout the entire movie, but right here without knowing what was next, it really added a thrill. Suddenly, Numa peered out the window to the sight of lots, and lots of clouds portraying a potential viewing problem.

Unforeseen, the turbulence was much more, the plane was now going face down, each passenger began to fasten their seatbelts, some even prayed. Unable to fix the issue, the flight’s captain Julio Ferradas was forced to crash land into the middle of the Andes. Crazily, the plane ripped in half as it skidded across the frigid ice-cold floor of the range. Incredibly, 33 of the 45 members of the flight survived the initial crash. Nobody in the cockpit, nor the tail end of the plane survived.

Up to this point, I was in shock, I had never heard of this story and it was absolutely crazy. I was enjoying the movie, but at the same time was sympathetic due to the fact that this really happened.

The Andes are a blank mountain range with multiple ranges and dead spots, unfortunately for the surviving boys, they were in the middle, a dead area. After six days of frigid cold temperatures at night with no shelter besides the half-ripped-up plane, the boys wrapped up in each other’s arms and did their very best to comfort the injured while trying to find a way to escape.

Days and nights passed by, the boys were struck with multiple hardships facing little food, little shelter, piercing sunlight, ice-cold nights, and even the death of their friends.

Numa was seen as the heart of the group, he portrayed trust and gave everyone hope. After eight days without food, the boys began to eat their friends to survive. Numa wouldn’t do it; he refused to take part in any act that involved them until he had to.

Screaming and crying took place every single night as the below negative temps busted through the window and protection of the plane. During the next day, while everyone was cooped up inside the plane, an avalanche hit. Killing, and injuring many more. The remaining had to fight their way to dig out. Numa was injured by a piece of glass to his leg, yet he and a couple of boys took initiative to find their way out, going on a long walk to figure it out. Numa was ultimately too hurt to continue and had to turn back. But the other two boys, Nando and Sergio, continued through.

Numa, the backbone of the group, returned home and sadly passed away. This was horrible, the backbone of the group, one that had done so much, had passed.

The other two boys returned back to camp to alert the others they thought they could get to a valley in a ten-day walk. The two boys suited up, and prepared for a journey many view as impossible. But after the ten days, they had made it to green grass, a passing by farmer viewed the boys and alerted local police. What was left of the group was 14 boys, all 14 were saved by airlift.

In the end, we see a wholesome return to home for 14 boys forever changed. This movie symbolizes a true story of hope, perseverance, and a top example of never giving up. The heroic journey to save the remaining boys will be remembered for years, and no boy, or girl will ever be forgotten. 5/5

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About the Contributor
Michael Bartholomew
Michael Bartholomew, Staff Reporter
Michael is a senior at Millard West, this is his second year on the CATalyst staff. He loves to spend his time with friends and work. He also enjoys playing his Xbox,  watching movies and writing about them, and being active.

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