The aircraft is that flown by Major Carlos Tomba, and shot down by Commander Nigel ‘Sharkey’ Ward’s Sea Harrier on 21st May 1982. This famous incident is one of my favourite stories from the war. The Pucara soaked up enormous damage, Ward proclaiming that he couldn’t believe it was still flying and that Tomba hadn’t ejected. Tomba did eject, at the last moment, and Ward later paid tribute to his bravery, airmanship and determination to save his aircraft. Tomba made it to the airfield at Goose Green on foot, where he was taken prisoner when the airfield was captured by 2 Para a few days later. He spent the rest of the war at the hospital at Ajax Bay, volunteering as an interpreter to ehlp the injured. Ward was informed by the CO (Rick Jolley) that Tomba was there, he passed on a message to Tomba saying that he was relieved he was “alive, well and useful.” (Ward and Jolley have both published accounts of their roles in the war – both are highly recommended reading.)
I’ve always wanted a Pucara in my collection, and was very happy to purchase a copy of Aconcagua’s all resin kit. It’s an intimidating kit in the box, and it sat unbuilt for a good few years. On starting it, I found it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I’d thought, and it went together really well.