1. Describe Uruguay when this book was written.
Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America. At the time that the author wrote the book, much of the country existed as lush pasture land. The largest city, Montevideo, was more densely populated and housed a mercantile class. Uruguay was relatively peaceful in the 1970's, but prior to that, the country experienced much instability.
2. Why is the team traveling to Chile?
In 1971, the Old Christians rugby team decided to play a championship game abroad. The championship was scheduled for October 1972, in Chile and the team secured air passage. The team privately chartered a plane, which officially belonged to the Uruguayan government. Inviting friends and family who could pay their own way defrayed the cost for each player, thus making the trip feasible.
3. Describe the plane they chartered and the course which it was to take.
The plane, Fairchild number 571, took off at 8:05 a.m. on October 12. Its scheduled destination was Santiago, Chile. The plane had accumulated only 792 hours since its purchase from the USA. The plane was in good mechanical condition and Ferradas was familiar with it. The flying conditions were more of a concern. The Andes mountains were renowned for powerful and dangerous air currents.
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