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  • Writer's pictureMr Wings

The Peruvian Hero

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Plane crashes do happen every now and then, and it is sad to hear about. There is always a question as to why the plane went down, with reasons such as mechanical failure, pilot error, adverse weather conditions, hijackings, or even a deliberate crash. Deaths are likely to happen to the people on the plane and even on the ground unless.... we are talking about the crash of Alfredo Salazar's plane.

Alfredo Salazar was born in 1913 and was a Peruvian aviator who joined the Peruvian Air Force in 1932 as a cadet. He finished his flying studies in 1935, becoming a Flight Officer in 1936. The following year, Peru was due to host the Inter-American Technical Conference of Aviation and an airshow was in preparation for the event in which Salazar was a part of.

On the 14th of September, a group of two-seater monoplanes took off from the Las Palmas Air Base for some practice flights over the skies to rehearse for the airshow. The practice was uneventful until Salazar's plane started emitting smoke. The problem soon got worse when the plane caught fire and Salazar then ordered his co-pilot, Carlos Fajardo to parachute out of the plane. Despite protesting, he eventually ejected out of the plane and reported that Salazar was cool as a cucumber while controlling the flight.

As the plane continued to hurtle down to earth, Salazar still continued to fly as the machine went up in flames. His sole aim was to fly the plane out of the city limits to minimize the life loss and he managed to fly the plane past a populated residential area of Miraflores, but in turn lost his life.

The people of Miraflores witnessed his heroic efforts, his control of the plane and watched it crash into the empty field beyond the populated area. To honor him, a monument was erected in 1953 at Avienda Larco. The monument consists of the head of a condor, looking alert and ready. The monument faces the Pacific Ocean, looking at the area where Salazar's plane crashed, a park surrounding it named, the Parque Salazar. There is also the Larcomar Shopping Center, which was built below the park.

Alfredo Salazar will continue to be remembered as a Peruvian hero, who took his own life to save others. It is an act of heroism that is surely treasured in Peruvian hearts as well as the rest of the world and the legacy of Salazar shall remain for years to come.

The monument that was erected in memory of the heroic pilot. Credit: Mirando Flores

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