It’s August 2, 1947, and British South American Airways Flight CS59 is on the last part of a long journey. The Avro Lancastrian passenger plane is making the flight after taking off from Buenos Aires, Argentina, en route to the final destination of Santiago, Chile. But not long before the airliner reaches Santiago, the crew sends a baffling radio message. And those are the last words ever heard from Flight CS59.
Flight CS59’s international journey had actually started on July 29, 1947, when it had taken off from London, U.K. Yet it was a different plane that had made the transatlantic journey to the first stopping off point: Buenos Aires. An Avro York airliner with the name Star Mist had made that flight, you see. This was also a British South American Airways (BSAA) aircraft.
Once in Buenos Aires, though, the Avro Lancastrian called Star Dust took on the role of completing Flight CS59’s itinerary. The final leg involved crossing South America from Buenos Aires in the east to Santiago in the west. It also meant flying across the formidable Andes mountain range – the rocky spine that runs down the continent.