As Brazilians and the soccer world grieve over the tragic plane crash that killed most of the members of the Associação Chapecoense de Futebol – as well as a group of journalists and crew members – it’s come to light that South American teams frequently used the British Aerospace 146 short-haul aircraft involved in the accident. Weeks before the wreck, Lionel Messi and the rest of the Argentine National Team used the plane, Olé reports.
On November 6, seven members of the team boarded the plane to Belo Horizonte to face off against Brazil in a World Cup Qualifying match. Players like Messi – who live primarily in Europe – caught up with their teammates in Brazil. But on November 11, Messi boarded the aircraft when the team traveled from Brazil to San Juan, Argentina. Clarín also clarifies that the British Aerospace 146 isn’t the same plane that made Messi and other players sick because of turbulence. On November 14, the Selección headed to Buenos Aires on another plane.
However, an Asociación del Fútbol Argentino source claimed the plane had issues. The unnamed source said the plane was “too small and precarious” and not up to the team’s standards. “It moved a lot,” the source told Clarín. “It made a lot of noise from everywhere, and the space issues were evident.”
For his part, Messi hasn’t come out to talk about his experience on the jet. Instead, he – like many others – offered his condolences: