N2520B L-049 Lloyd Airlines

1960 Delivered to Lloyd Airlines
1961 Impounded at Santa Cruz, Bolivia
1961 Property of Bolivian Air Force
1970 Transported to Parque Boris Banzer for playground use
1979 Converted for library use
1997 Painted in Pepsi colors

 

N2520B L-049 in Pepsi colors, basically complete but corroded. There is an interesting history behind the Connie’s ending up in Bolivia.

During some time before N2520B’s final flight, Constellations had been conducting night flights to El Trompillo Airport. Locals believe that these transported goods to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Arica, Chile, among other destinations, from the United States, such as cigarettes, textiles, whiskey, socks, television sets and contraband items.

On Saturday, 29 July 1961, the airplane landed at El Trompillo Airport, and rested there until 30 July, when it took off southward. The pilots had not filed a flight plan; instead they said they were carrying a practice-only flight. Immediately after take-off, Trompillo control tower alerted the Fuerza Aerea Boliviana, which sent P-51 Mustang fighters to chase it.

The P-51 pilots and the control tower asked the plane’s crew to fly to Cochabamba, but the crew ignored the request. The P-51s then proceeded to shoot at the airplane, making the Constellation crew attempt an emergency landing at El Trompillo Airport. As the aircraft descended, the crew dived in a final attempt at getting the P-51’s to call off their pursuit, causing one pilot, Captain Alberto Peredo Céspedes, to crash fatally. The Constellation itself landed at El Trompillo, and the crew members were arrested on site. The aircraft’s tires were blown up and the local military airline, TAM, flew soldiers in from Cochabamba to prevent the airport from being overtaken by guerrillas.

Constellation Details:

Variant: L-049-51-25

Construction Number:2081
Registration Number:N2520B
Photographer / Collection: Zoggavia

Image Number: ZA41089

Photo Date: September 1997

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