Maria Larracoechea

Nieves Larracoechea

 Flight Attendant – Age 39

Madrid, Spain – Spanish Citizen

She was known as “Nieves” to her friends. Nieves was regarded as a stunning, vivacious, and utterly charming person, and for these reasons, as well as her kindness to everyone, she was most popular with her flying partners. She was fortunate to have found a career that suited her character and interests so well. She loved to travel and learn using her free time to explore the globe in a typically adventurous manner. Nieves was born in Bilbao, Spain and studied in England and France. She began her flying career with Pan Am in 1971 and was based in New York before joining the London base in 1978. She was a four-time recipient of the Clipper Ship, a Flight Attendant Recognition Award which was a tribute to her popularity with passengers and crewmembers alike. Nieves commuted from Madrid to London and flight 103 offered her a convenient check-in time compatible with the flight schedules. She is survived by her husband, Frank Rosenkranz, her mother, and her brother Francisco, and sister Marina.


Betsy Beeker:  I remember Nieves so vividly!  I was an instructor at the International Stewardess Collece in Miami when Nieves went to training for Pan Am in the late 60’s.  She was one of the first Spanish trainees Pan Am ever hired.  She was charming, humble and so interesting to talk to in my meager Spanish.  Suddenly, she was ‘ripped’ from class and told she was being sent home!  I was so shocked, before I heard the reason – she had restrictions on her Spanish passport which had to be lifted before she could fly.  I felt so sorry for her, as she was so thrilled to be about  to fly for Pan Am. She waited out the Spanish government and came back and came back to training several weeks later.  I always loved her and thought her name was so lyrical.  I ran into her years later in London, after I had returned to the line, and she was equally as charming in later years, as she was as a young , frightened trainee.  I was crushed to learn of her death, as I was for all the souls aboard flight 103. . . . . but SHE had touched my life , though briefly, and I have always held her in my heart….my dear little Snow…. Nieves.

Andrea Sidor: Nieves was one of our occasional roommates in our flat on Elizabeth Street In London that I shared with Ebba Skogstad.  She commuted from Madrid and I always loved it when she came to stay with us. I have never known a more joyful person and living her life so wholeheartedly was an inspiration to me.

3 thoughts on “

Maria Larracoechea

  1. I flew with Nieves on numerous occasions and remember her well. The words friendly, vivacious, caring, warm and kind come to mind to describe her personality. I was on the tail end of a long grueling trip and she had joined our crew for one leg of that trip. I was feeling exhausted and nauseous. Bless her heart, she kept giving me tips to make me feel better…. (“…have you tried this?…I did this once….”). I can still hear her voice after all these years! I was heartbroken to hear the news and will never forget. My friend, I hope you are flying among the angels.

  2. Nieves, was our au-pair when my Brother Mark and I were children, growing up in Sherwood, Nottingham.She was the greatest addition to our Family, and we loved her dearly. She was so much fun, and would tell us stories. Our Dear Late Parents Vera and Johnnie Black also loved her, and we were so thrilled and proud of her when she became an air-stewardess. We thought she was the bravest person we knew, as we’d been in a plane that caught fire, when I was a small child, that left my Mother and I traumatised.
    To discover she was one of the victims of this barbaric , and devastating attack, has filled my Brother and I with so much sadness. Our hearts go out to people of the world who have suffered so much at the hands of terrorism, and the Families who suffer the pain of their loss. May you rest in Peace Dearest Nieves! Andrea Black.

  3. Nieves was always wonderful and fun to work with, not only on the plane but during layovers she was just as adventurous as I was. In the last days of the London-Tehran flights, we were stuck in the hotel in Tehran and told not to leave because of the political situation. I had done a presentation at the American School for their career day and made friends with some of the instructors. One of them helped me hire a private car to go touring, so off we went: Ted Trost, Nieves and another lovely American girl, whose name I forget. We had a great day, driving north through the mountains, visiting the ski slopes, and on to the Caspian where we spent part of the day. No caviar there, alas! We had such fun. I was crushed when I heard she was on 103. Lovely lovely lady.

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