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10-03-2015, 21:46


Aeropesca is formed at Bogota on October 14, 1960 as a specialized freight charter operation. Employing Consolidated PBY-5A Catalinas, the company hauls fish from the Amazon River town of Leticia, at the very southern tip of the country, to the nation’s capital. It also flies various charters on demand.

A Curtiss C-46 Commando is placed into service in July 1964, the first of some nine machines the company will operate (usually between one and four at a time). Catalina flights, meanwhile, continue and on November 4, 1965, a PBY-5A with six aboard disappears over the southeastern part of the country.

While on a flight from Bogota on July 11, 1966, a C-46D with eight crew goes missing in the area of Cero el Planchon; there are no survivors.

Service continues with but one further incident in 1967-1970.

An overloaded C-46D with three crew fails its takeoff from Bogota on February 13, 1969, and makes a forced landing a mile beyond the runway; although the aircraft must be written off due to damages, there are no fatalities.

In September 1971, after having purchased several Vickers Viscount 745s, the carrier initiates scheduled services from Bogota to Popiyan and Pasto in the south. These destinations are quickly followed by the addition of flights to Cali, Medellin, Cucuta, and Barranquilla.

Over the next seven years, the fleet of CEO Mario Sarmiento Boada’s company comes to comprise 5 Viscounts and 2 C-46s. Additional passenger and cargo stops are added at Neiva and Ipiales.

The most exciting incident occurs on January 21, 1974, when Jore Raimundo Tapia Canon hijacks a Viscount en route from Pasto to Popayan with 43 passengers and orders it to Cuba via Cali and Baran-quilla. At Cali, 22 passengers are allowed to deplane.

Flights continue in 1975-1978. On August 14 of the latter year, a C-46F with 3 crew and 15 passengers crashes into a mountain at Tota in bad weather; there are no survivors.

Passenger traffic builds steadily throughout 1979-1981, reaching 74,193, without incident, during 1981 year. Two events stand out in 1981: En route from Florencia to Neiva on August 27, a Vickers Viscount 745D with 6 crew and 44 passengers crashes into Mt. Santa Elena; there are no survivors. On October 21, two men and two women hijack a C-46F to Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula; negotiations for the release of five company employees taken captive will take a month.

En route from Villavicencio to Bogota in stormy weather on March 26, 1982, a Vickers Viscount 745D with 6 crew and 21 passengers crashes into a 7,700-ft. mountain near Queate; there are no survivors.

Bookings slip to 51,124 as the carrier, planning expansion, is reorganized in December and changes its name to Intercontinental de Aviacion, S. A. (Intercontinental Colombia).

AEROPESCA (SERVICIOS AEREOS AEROPESCA, S. A.): Chile (1991-1996). Aeropesca is established by Francisco Guzman at Iquique in 1991 to offer passenger and cargo charters and air taxi flights on a regional basis. Revenue services commence and continue with 14 Cessna 337s, 1 Piper PA-31-310 Navajo, and 2 Grumman Gulfstream 500s. Raul Zarate Moreno is president in 1994. Operations cease in 1996.

AEROPONIENTE (AEROVIAS DE PONIENTE, S. A. de C. V.): Mexico (1994-1996). In 1994, Aeroponiente begins regional third-level service from the city of its namesake with a fleet of ten Fairchild Metro 111/23 s. Unable to attain economic viability, the company shuts down within two years.