Pilot for Dutch low cost carrier arrested for his role in Argentine “death flights”

We’ve heard of pilots being removed from their plane because they were drunk, but today’s news is slightly more disturbing.

Pilot Juan Alberto Poch was about to fly back to Amsterdam when Spanish police removed him from his Transavia plane because of his involvement in the Argentine “dirty war” between 1976 and 1983.

An Argentine court had issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Poch, and he’ll be deported so he can answer the allegations brought against him.

These allegations are quite horrible. As part of the dirty war, Mr. Poch flew “death flights”. These flights were performed under the disguise of “prisoner transports”, but in reality, the passengers were drugged, and dropped out of the plane plummeting to their death in the ocean. In total, up to 30,000 people disappeared, and many of them may have been killed when pushed out of one of these flights.

The airline had been informed of the arrest, and had prepared a backup pilot to minimize the inconvenience to its passengers. The pilot had been working for Transavia since 1988 and never raised any suspicions.