Ejercito Argentino (Argentine Army) Fairchild Swearingen SA226-AT Merlin IVA, AE-180 (c/n AT-071E-253) at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) in March 2000. (Phil Perry Collection)
The Fairchild / Swearingen Metro family of aircraft is the most popular 19-seater aircraft type to have flown in Argentina with at least 53 airframes having served in the country, according to the excellent Argentine aviation blog "Historias Individuales". Argentina Aviation News, Photography & Spotting will produce a series of posts featuring photos and short histories of 23 of these aircraft in the coming months.
This aircraft first flew in 1979 as N5656M and was delivered directly to the Argentine Army in May of that year which gave it the military registration of AE-180. It has always flown for this same operator with at least one of its roles being as a MEDEVAC aircraft equipped with 6 stretchers or facilities for one patient requiring intensive care and accompanying medical crew. It is still in service today.