Archive for June 24th, 2011


Two days before the fateful day, Carlos Gardel and his entourage were on a scenic mountain range outside of Bogota, when his young secretary Corpas Moreno, volonteering to take a photo, jokingly said, “just in case, the airplane falls down boss”…Gardel became extremely angry, he was never comfortable flying…in fact in an interview, late in life, Juan D’arienzo claimed that at the Chantecler Cabaret, Carlos Gardel once said to him, “Juanito, I am going to die in an airplane!”…what really caused the two airplanes to collide that day in Medellin, Colombia which killed Carlos Gardel !…there are essentially four theories – 1. that Gardel’s pilot Ernesto Samper was playing a game of chicken on take off with the other pilot Hans Urlich Thom with whom he had a rivalry – 2. That Alfredo Le Pere, enraged because Gardel had dismissed him, took out a gun and shot at Gardel but hit the pilot instead – 3. that the plane was over the weight limit …at the airport a studio head insisted on loading onto the airplane, twelve Gardel  film reels against the strenuous objections of the pilot – 4. that a sudden gust of wind at the airport coupled with the fact that Samper did not have alot of experience flying the Ford Tri-Motor F-31 (“The Tin Goose”, billed by Henry Ford as “the safest ariliner in the world”) caused the airplane to lose control…it is true that there was a severe rivalry between the two pilots…two days earlier, Thom had flown his airplane close to that of Ernesto Samper in an act of macho bravado; Samper had vowed to get even…


The theory about Le Pera having shot at Gardel was advanced by Jose Maria Aguilar, the only long-term survivor of the crash…an autopsy after the crash did reveal that the pilot had been shot in the head but it apparently came from the Thom plane’s co-pilot as it saw the Samper airplane coming at him…according to Jose Maria Aguilar, Gardel’s last words were “what are you eating Indio?”; “chewing gum” answered Aguilar…“well give me some and do you have some cotton” (to place in his ears for take off)…there is one report that says that Gardel survived the initial impact of the crash and was trying to exit the airplane through a window when the left most engine came upon him and probably killed him instantly…Aguilar, who was sitting towards the back of the airplane (Gardel was in the front) claims that he survived because he was the only one that did not have his seat belt on and he was able to jump out of the airplane albeit in flames…for the remaining years of his life he would be disfigured and blind…forty eight years would pass before a similar accident would occur on the same airfield, Olaya Herrera Airport, when on December 14, 1983, a Boeing 707 on take off would hit a power line causing the death of the three people on board


  • CLICK HERE – to see a clip from the film “Luces De Buenos Aires”, 1931 in which he first sang his composition “Tomo Y Obligo”  which was the last tango he would sing…he sang it on radio station “La Voz De La Victor” in Bogota, Colombia the day before his death