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Antonio Sena was flying a Cessna 210 single-propeller airplane over the Brazilian Amazon when the engine suddenly stopped, causing him to spend a few minutes finding a spot in the woods in preparation for an emergency landing.
The landing was then successful. Antonio Sena survives unharmed, but is trapped in the middle of the world’s largest rainforest. This is considered the beginning of a 38-day journey that, according to Sena, has taught him one of the greatest lessons in life.
Antonio Sena was flying a Cessna 210 over the Brazilian Amazon when the engine suddenly stopped.
Sena, 36, was hired to transport cargo from the northern town of Alenquer to an illegal rainforest gold mine, known as “California”.
While at an altitude of 1,000 meters, the small aircraft Cessna 210 suddenly had an engine failure. Antonio Sena knows he doesn’t have too much time and tries to fly the plane across a valley to land on his stomach.
As soon as the plane hit the ground, Antonio Sena grabbed whatever seemed useful – a backpack, three bottles of water, four bottles of soft drink, a bag of bread, some rope, an emergency aid kit. , a lantern and two lighters – and exit the plane as quickly as possible.
It exploded not long after that. It was January 28, 2021.
The first five days since the incident, Sena heard the rescue planes’ engines searching for her.
But the trees were so dense that rescuers could not see him. After that, he didn’t hear any more motives and told himself that the rescuers might think he was dead.
“I was devastated. I think I will never escape and then die,” Sena shared with the media at her home on April 7.
He used the remaining battery on his cell phone to navigate with GPS and decided to head east, where he had seen two runways.
Cheetahs, crocodiles, South American python
He followed the morning sunlight to stay in the right direction, while trying to remember the things he was taught while taking a survival course.
“There is water, but no food. And I would be in danger if I come across predators like leopards, crocodiles and python,” he said.
Sena ate the same fruits he saw the monkeys eat, and found three precious blue tinamou eggs – the only source of protein in his entire journey of survival.
“I’ve never seen such a pristine and unspoiled rainforest,” Sena said.
“I found out that the Amazon is not a rainforest, it’s like four or five forests in one.” The thought of seeing his parents and siblings again, he said, motivated him to continue.
Antonio Sena has walked 28km, lost 25kg on the way.
Sena was born in Santarem, a small city at the confluence of the Amazon and Tapajos rivers. He calls himself a native “Amazonian” and a lover of the rainforest.
However, Sena admits the COVID-19 pandemic left him with no choice but to take a job for one of the thousands of illegal gold mines, which caused havoc in the forest and enraged. contaminated by mercury in nearby rivers.
Despite being a veteran pilot with 2,400 hours of flight time, Sena decided to open a restaurant in her hometown a few years ago in search of new opportunities. But the effects of the Covid-19 translation forced him to close the restaurant.
Sena said: “I have to make money somehow.” I never wanted to (work for an illegal mining pool), but that was the only option I had if I wanted food on the table. “
In total, Sena walked 28km, lost 25kg while trying to survive in the Amazon jungle. On day 35, he heard the sound of something unfamiliar in the rainforest for the first time ever since rescuers tried to search: a chainsaw.
Antonio Sena has been hired to transport a shipment running from the northern town of Alenquer to an illegal gold mine in the Amazon rainforest.
He began walking toward the sound, and finally arrived at a nut collectors’ camp in Brazil. Startled by Sena’s sudden arrival from the forest, they help him contact his mother to announce that he is still alive. The owner of this farm is Maria Jorge dos Santos Tavares, who has been collecting and selling nuts in the forest with her family for five decades. “She gave me clean food and clothes. I have a lot of sympathy for them,” Sena said.
Sena also found meaning to be saved by a family that lived “in harmony” with the Amazon, after working for those who were destroying the forest. “
Regardless of the circumstances that led me to that flight, found by a family of collectors who loved being in harmony with nature, who did not destroy the forest – it was miraculous, “he said. “One thing is certain: I will never fly for illegal gold miners again.”
Consult with AFP
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