Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known as Miracle Flight 571, was a chartered flight originating in Montevideo, Uruguay, bound for Santiago, Chile, that crashed high in the Andes mountains on 13 October 1972. The accident became known as the Andes flight disaster and the Miracle of the Andes.
While crossing the Andes during poor weather, the inexperienced co-pilot of the Fairchild FH-227D mistakenly believed they had reached Curicó, despite instrument readings that indicated otherwise. The aircraft began descending too early to reach Pudahuel Airport and struck a mountain, shearing off both wings and the tail section. The remaining portion of the fuselage slid down the mountain about 725 metres (2,379 ft) before striking ice and snow on a glacier. The flight was carrying 45 passengers and crew, including 19 members of the Old Christians Club rugby union team, along with their families, supporters, and friends.
The wreck was located at an elevation of 3,570 metres (11,710 ft) in the remote Andes of far western Argentina, just east of the border with Chile. Three crew members and eight passengers died immediately; several more died soon afterward due to the frigid temperatures and the severity of their injuries. Authorities flew over the crash site several times over the following days, searching for the aircraft, but could not see the white fuselage against the snow. Search efforts were canceled after eight days.