Transporte Aéreo Rioplatense
The airline was set up in December 1969 by Carlos F. Martinez Guerrero and several of his associates. Operations commenced in July 1970, however, the first aircraft, a Canadair CL-44 freighter did not commence service with the airline until 1971. Flights with the CL-44 commenced between Buenos Aires and Houston, on which cattle were transported, and the airline quickly established itself operating worldwide ad hoc charters, leading to the addition of three more of the aircraft type. The airline had regular flights to Houston and Miami, and to Basel, Switzerland from September 1976.
Transporte Aéreo Rioplatense continued to operate into the 1980s, but had ceased operations by 1989.
1981 CL-44 crash
In 1981 the airline was contracted to conduct a series of flights to send arms to Iran, to assist in arming Nicaraguan contras. Military equipment from Israel was shipped to Iran, in support of the latter during its war with Iraq. A total of 360 tons of arms was to be transported from Israel to Iran.
On 18 July 1981, one of the airline's CL-44s was returning to Cyprus after making the third delivery flight to Iran. It strayed into Soviet airspace in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and the Soviet Air Force sent a Sukhoi Su-15 to intercept it. The Su-15 hit the CL-44's tail and it crashed near the Soviet-Turkish border, killing all four of the occupants. The Soviet Union claimed that its Su-15 pilot deliberately downed the CL-44 by aerial ramming.
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