Engine fell off Learjet before crash, official says

Rizer

Well-Known Member
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/11/08/mexico.crash/index.html

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- An engine fell off a Mexican government jet before it crashed, killing the second-highest official in the nation, the Cabinet member in charge of the investigation said Saturday.

Officials also said they have ruled out the possibility that the crash was caused by a bomb.

"There is no trace of explosives on the plane wreckage or the [crash] site," said Luis Tellez, Mexican secretary of communication and transportation.

Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino, former deputy attorney general Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos and six others onboard were killed in the crash. At least five others on the ground died, and others were reported missing. Officials said 40 people were injured.

Camilo Mourino and Santiago Vasconcelos had been instrumental in the war on drugs, leading to widespread speculation among Mexicans that drug lords orchestrated the crash. But Mexican authorities have said there is no indication that foul play was involved.

The government Learjet 45 was traveling at 500 kmh (310 mph) when it crashed in central Mexico City as it approached Benito Juarez International Airport.

Gilberto Lopez Meyer, Mexico's director of airports and auxiliary services, said the jet's left engine fell off when the plane was traveling between 250 and 300 kmh (150 to 186 mph), according to Mexico's state-run Notimex news agency.

An examination of the wreckage indicates that the engines were functioning at high speed, Lopez Meyer said.

Tallez said the day after the crash that the Learjet 45 did not explode in the air because when that happens, pieces of the airplane are scattered over a wide area. But the wreckage in this instance was limited to a small area, he said.

Tellez also said Wednesday that the pilot did not report an emergency, Notimex said.

A recording released Wednesday of what Mexican officials said was dialogue between the pilot and the airport control tower did not appear to have an emergency call from the aircraft.

Officials have vowed to make all aspects of the investigation public.
 

OldTownPilot

Well-Known Member
Now they have to figure out if the loss of the engine resulted in the loss of control, or that the loss of control resulted in the loss of the engine.;)
 

cre8flyer

New Member
A pilot friend of mine who lives in Mexico city says that wake turbulence is being mentioned in the local media.

To me (with obviously no participation / knowledge of the investigation) this seems plausible. . . the crash site is about 12 miles from the runway threshold and the lear was doing over 300 KIAS, right behind. . . something a lot heavier moving a lot slower.
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
Seems pretty unlikely that wake turbulence would make an engine separate from the airplane.
 

typhoonpilot

Well-Known Member
Seems pretty unlikely that wake turbulence would make an engine separate from the airplane.

True, but I have personally seen a 707 with an engine ripped off by mountain wave activity near Denver, CO. That and the AA Airbus that had it's tail come off after a wake turbulence encounter followed by inappropriate rudder inputs. Strange things do happen.


TP
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
True, though the rudder separation was caused by pilot-induced overload on the vertical stabilizer. And I'm sure engine separation resulted from either overspeed or overload following the loss of the stabilizer. I guess I could see an improper reaction to a wake turbulence upset causing that on the Lear, though.

A few months ago I heard about an old 737 having an engine separation on takeoff due to improper hardware on the engine pylon. It happened somewhere in Africa (I think it was South Africa, though it might have been Kenya). Also, there was the AA DC-10 that lost an engine in Chicago due to an improper maintenance procedure. Something like that seems more likely to me in this case. But we won't really know until the investigation is over (if we even know then).
 

Champcar

Well-Known Member
True, though the rudder separation was caused by pilot-induced overload on the vertical stabilizer. And I'm sure engine separation resulted from either overspeed or overload following the loss of the stabilizer. I guess I could see an improper reaction to a wake turbulence upset causing that on the Lear, though.
That may be what the final report says but that is not entirely true. The tail had a manufacturing defect that had been patched. This patch most likely created the weak point were the tail snapped. Airbus just played the right people to make it a non issue...and the pilots got screwed once again.
 
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