Episode 5: Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571

The good thing about researching this disaster is that there are a lot of sources to work from. The survivors of the disaster are very open with sharing their thoughts and memories of the crash and their survival in the mountains.

Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors

“Alive” should be a staple in any disaster nonfiction collection. The survivors chose Piers Paul Read themselves to tell their story, and he presents their story in great detail from start to finish. It’s also a very addictive read and hard to put down.

Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, the two survivors who walked out of the Andes to save them all, have both written books about their experiences and how they affected their lives as well.

YouTube is a wealth of documentary footage and interviews with the survivors, especially if you don’t mind reading subtitles or understand Spanish. One of the best documentaries is I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash. It’s an hour and a half long and contains a great deal of information about every aspect of the disaster.

Viven: El accidente de los Andes is a fantastic documentary in Spanish in which many of the sixteen survivors participate and share their personal experiences.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of documentaries and interviews, though. If you search YouTube for the phrase “alive andes,” you can be there for quite a while watching all sorts of Flight 571 videos.

Also, if you want to watch another movie about the disaster, Supervivientes de los Andes is also up on YouTube to watch for free. It was made only a few years after the disaster, and while it’s not the best movie in the world it’s a slightly different take on the story than “Alive.”

Episode 5: Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571