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Captain Refused to Acknowledge He Was Lost

On September 3, 1989, Varig Airlines Flight 254 was at Brazil's Maraba Airport preparing for takeoff. Under normal circumstances the hop to nearby Belém would only take 48 minutes. Captain Cézar Garcez consulted a computer-generated flight plan and read the number 0270 which corresponded to the magnetic heading from Maraba to Belém. But Garcez inadvertently dialed 270 into the Horizontal Situation Indicator. Minutes later, flight 254 took off ...

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