Juliane Koepcke was seventeen and desperate to get home. She had just graduated from high school in Lima, and was returning to her home in the biological research station of Panguana, that her parents founded, deep in the Amazonian forest about 150 km south of Pucallpa. She had been living in Panguana, on and off, for three years with her mother, Maria, and her father, Hans-Wilhelm Koepcke, both zoologists.
Their flight was on Christmas eve of 1971, and the plane was already seven hours late. It was just before noon when Juliane and her mother finally boarded the flight. The flight to Pucallpa was supposed to last less than an hour. About 25 minutes after takeoff, the LANSA Flight 508 flew into an area of thunderstorms and severe turbulence and the plane began to shake violently. Overhead compartments flew open, showering passengers and crew with luggage and Christmas presents. The plane could have turned back but there was pressure to meet the holiday schedule, and so the pilots continued to fly.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Juliane Koepcke returns to the crash site in 1998.