Dear Colleagues and readers,
Last January 10th, Mr. Schram (Officier van Justitie) declared the following: “Uit de logboeken die zijn gevonden in zijn woning bleek dat hij niet alleen straaljagers maar ook in propellor toestellen had gevlogen”.
After this statement, some newspapers and the NOS concluded that I had lied about my flying career. This is false and incorrect since I have never lied about which aircraft I have flown. Most pilots begin their flying careers on propellor aircraft and this applies to me as well.
It is my intention with this letter to inform all the readers in more detail about my flying career as proven by my Argentine Navy Records and all my Flight Logbooks. I hope it’s not too boring.
After graduating as Argentine Naval Officer in Dec ’72, I completed flight training in Feb ’74 on the North American T-28 Trojan aircraft. Thereafter joining my first squadron “2da Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Ataque” also on T-28, used as a light attack aircraft and bomber, based on aircraft carrier ARA “25 de Mayo” (ex Karel Doorman). That year I also flew briefly as copilot on the Beechcraft BE-80 Queen Air (62 hrs) and De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter (58 hrs). In Feb ‘75 my next squadron was “Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Busqueda y Rescate”- the SAR (Search and Rescue)- as copilot on the Grumman HU-16 Albatros.
One year later, in Feb ’76, I was transferred to “1ra Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Ataque” with the Italian jet Aermacchi MB-326 advanced light combat aircraft. In Feb ’77, I was finally transferred to the top Navy squadron “3ra Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque” with the Skyhawk A4-Q , also based on the ARA “25 de Mayo”, first being sent for conversion training until Oct ‘77 to US Navy squadron VT-22 at Kingsville, Texas, flying the double seater Skyhawk TA-4J. I was proud to receive my US Naval Aviator diploma and wings, and then I was transferred back to the single seat A-4Q in Argentina.
Videla’s coup took place on March 24th, 1976, and the military dictatorship lasted until Dec 10th 1983 when democratical elected President Mr. Raul Alfonsin took office. Since March 1976 I never flew again any propellor aircraft as pilot or copilot, up to my retirement from the Navy on Dec 1st, 1980. We were not allowed to pilot (and did not do so) any other aircraft type. My ex-squadron Commanding Officers Navy Captains Roberto Novais and Jorge Colombo pointed out our exclusive dedication to these jet aircraft types in their statements to Judge Torres.
During 1976, three flights in my logbook were marked as “crew” on the Albatros HU-16. This aircraft acted as the logistical support of the Aermacchi squadron. These were positioning flights during our regular deployments. They have been investigated and found correct by naval experts appointed by Judge Torres.
After retiring from the Navy, I was lucky to join Aerolineas Argentinas in Feb ‘81, where I first flew as copilot Boeing 747-200 until Nov ’83 and then as copilot B-737-200 until Dec ’88.
I applied voluntarily and in Mar ’88 I was detached from Aerolineas to Transavia for a summer contract thru Parc Aviation together with 4 other colleagues. Two of us were fortunate to receive permanent contracts with Transavia. In March 1990 I was promoted to Captain B-737 and in 1992 became also an Instructor.
Therefore I have never flown any propellor or any transport aircraft during the military dictatorship of Argentina (1976-83). My conscience is clean and I’m very proud of my flying career. I have never participated -in any role whatsoever- in the so-called “death flights” and of course I have never ever said that I did. I only heard about them during the trials of the military that took place in Argentina in 1984 and ’85. I still find the accounts of those suspected flights terrible and inhuman. I wish to thank all of you who have been so helpful and supportive. Of course I look forward to cleaning my name and returning soon to the Netherlands.
Julio Alberto Poch
Deze nadere uitleg van Julio Poch die objectief is geverifieerd aan de hand van data in Argentinie, toont inderdaad aan dat hij nimmer bij ‘dodenvluchten’ betrokken is geweest tijdens de militaire junta. Dit is ook naar voren gekomen tijdens de getuigenverhoren van 10-25 januari jl. voor de rechtbank te Den Haag.
Advocaat Julio Poch.