Trainee pilot was flying crashed Aeromexico plane, says report

All 103 people onboard escaped unhurt when the aircraft crashed on take-off

Cathy Adams
Tuesday 26 February 2019 17:48
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An unqualified pilot was flying an Aeromexico aircraft that crashed shortly after take-off last year, according to Mexican investigators.

The Embraer 190 aircraft crashed during bad weather in the Mexican state of Durango last July.

All 103 passengers and crew escaped the aircraft before it was engulfed in flames. Authorities said that 85 people were injured, although nobody died.

In an official investigation into the crash, Mexico’s transport commission said that a crew member who was training to be a pilot was at the controls when the plane took off.

He had been allowed into the cockpit and took the place of the first officer for departure, who was sitting in an observer’s seat and instructing him. The report added that the first officer was not authorised to instruct the trainee pilot.

Although he had logged almost 3,300 hours on other planes, the trainee pilot didn’t have any experience flying the Embraer E-Jet and was therefore unauthorised to do so.

However, despite the unqualified pilot at the controls, the report concluded that the jet crashed due to low-level windshear at a critical phase of take-off, which reduced speed and lift.

Last week data from the international aviation body Iata showed that the number of crashes rose sharply in 2018 compared to 2017.

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