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Whisky Romeo Zulu
Whisky Romeo Zulu
Actors: Adolfo Yanneli, Alejandro Awada, Enrique Pineyro, Carlos Portaluppi, Mercedes Morn
Director: Enrique Pineyro
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2007     1hr 47min

In this fascinating true story, former pilot Enrique Pineyro explores his own past as a whistle blower against airline industry corruption and shoddy safety practices. As he becomes increasingly convinced that a major cras...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Adolfo Yanneli, Alejandro Awada, Enrique Pineyro, Carlos Portaluppi, Mercedes Morn
Director: Enrique Pineyro
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/11/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Excellent film about actual events - fascinating and chillin
Penumbra | Atlanta, GA USA | 02/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Whisky Romeo Zulu" is the partial designation for a Boeing 737 that entered history as the vehicle for the worst aviation disaster in Argentine history. Sixty-five souls were lost on August 31, 1999 when LAPA flight 3142 ended in a fiery crash during an aborted take off. This semi-documentary is the riveting and frightening story of events that led up to the accident.

The writer, director, producer and star of the film is Enrique Piñeyro, who worked for eleven years as a pilot for LAPA and had resigned just two months prior to the accident. Actually, he was forced out because he was a troublemaker; he insisted that planes he flew be in good working order with safety and maintenance inspections completed. That kind of bad attitude cost the company money. As a start up, low cost domestic carrier, LAPA felt they couldn't afford such niceties and frills.

Recently promoted to Captain, Piñeyro reports and logs a variety of incidents and infractions with his flights. He is told by his superiors that he is damaging the company. He is told the regulations are overly strict and everything will be fine. They say that instead of logging problems with the aircraft, he should just write them on a napkin and hand them to someone in maintenance.

There are plenty of shocking moments in the film. For example, during one preflight inspection, Piñeyro discovers an empty fire extinguisher and demands a replacement. The maintenance crew member tells him it has been empty for a week already and there are no replacements...big deal. Piñeyro insists that he will not fly without a working fire extinguisher. Another maintenance crew member takes the empty extinguisher and says he will take care of it. He steps outside the plane and, unobserved by the flight crew, makes an adjustment to the valve so that the extinguisher now appears full. He then takes the doctored canister back on the plane and returns it to the captain, who believes he now has a working fire extinguisher. In another chilling moment, Piñeyro and his co-pilot are doing a cross check and discover at least three things wrong with the plane which, according to the company's own manual, make the aircraft unsafe for a night flight. Piñeyro makes the decision to ground the craft until the issues are resolved. As he and the co-pilot are walking away from the plane, they cross paths with another pilot and co-pilot who will be making that flight in their place. Instead of replacing the defective equipment, the company merely replaced the troublesome pilot. It's much more efficient for the bottom line.

Piñeyro is low-key but powerful. He's in constant need of a hair cut and a shave, but he knows his way around a plane, and he knows how to tell a story. Alejandro Polledo is quite strong as the District Attorney assigned to investigate the crash to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against the airline.

The movie is in Spanish with some cockpit and tower talk in English. The DVD includes English subtitles, scene selection, and a theatrical trailer.

Highly recommended."
"Maybe this isn't the company for people like you"
M. B. Alcat | Los Angeles, California | 08/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Whisky Romeo Zulu" is an excellent drama, based on the events that led to a terrible airline accident in Argentina, on August 31, 1999. In that day, LAPA (Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas) flight 3142 crashed and caught fire, killing instantly 65 people and injuring 17.

The title of this movie has to do with NATO's phonetic alphabet version of the identifier of the airplane, LV-WRZ, that is, Lima Victor - Whisky Romeo Zulu. "Whisky Romeo Zulu" was directed by Enrique Piñeyro, who drew on his own experience as a LAPA pilot in order to make it. Piñeyro plays a man that does pretty much what he did, a Cassandra-like character that says true things nobody wants to hear. Piñeyro was employed by LAPA from 1988 to 1999, when he resigned two months prior to the accident, due to the fact that nobody paid attention to him when he complained about LAPA's nonexistent safety policy.

Piñeyro said that "I was personally interested in recounting how the accident came to occur, not the fact that the pilots forgot about the flaps and the plane blew up, but why they forgot the flaps. And what was the process, because forgetting the flaps was the straw that broke the camel's back in a series of tremendous violations of regulations. I was interested in portraying what isn't apparent about the accident, not just the final link (the pilot). Because all the links that came before were conveniently hidden because they compromised the establishment, the business." I think that, in making this film, he succeeded in that purpose. Recommended...

Belen Alcat
Cheap Maintenance Practices Make For Dangerous Travel: A Tru
deltav | 03/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is well done and captures the beauty of aviation as well as getting the technical details right. Cost cutting on maintenance can lead to dangerous operating practices. The movie is subtitled in English but that actually improved the atmosphere of the movie for me.