Bad weather & unauthorized training caused Aeromexico E190 crash

Max Effect

The Mexican General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) published the final report on the crash of the Aeromexico flight 2431 in Durango in July 2018. It concluded that the pilots lost control of the plane due to windshear.

The report, published on February 24, 2019, confirms initial conclusions that a “microburst” (sudden downward wind) led to the crash. But it also points out at the lack of situational awareness of the E190 flight crew, due to an unauthorized situation.

It was determined that three pilots instead of two were present in the cockpit during takeoff. The third flight crew member, a pilot trainee, acted as co-pilot of the plane until the pilot in command took control, five seconds before the crash.

While that trainee had the initial training to pilot an Embraer E-Jet, he did not complete the final evaluation and was thus unauthorized to take command of the plane. Moreover, the captain of the flight AM2431 did not have qualification of being an instructor on E-Jets. The three pilots were fired on September 6, 2018, as Aeromexico judged that their behavior “violated the company’s policies and procedures”.

In addition to the non-compliance with sterile cockpit procedures, the report also blames the air traffic controller for not providing sufficient information on variations, direction and wind speed, therefore infringing on the Air Traffic Management Manual of Mexico.

On July 31, 2018, The Aeromexico Embraer 190, registration XA-GAL, crashed shortly after takeoff in Durango state, in northern Mexico. The plane was operating connecting flight AM2431 between Durango International Airport (DGO) and Mexico City International Airport (MEX). Of the 103 passengers and crew members on board, 14 people were seriously injured, 25 received minor injuries and 64 were unharmed. No fatalities were reported.

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