Yesterday an Aeromexico Connect Embraer ERJ-190from Durango to Mexico City (Mexico) with 99 passengers and 4 crew aborted takeoff, veered left and overran the end of the runway after which it burst into flames.
Passengers on this AeroMexico flight might as well celebrate August 1st as their new birthday from now on as it’s a miracle that anybody got out of the wreckage alive, let alone with just minor injuries.
The New York Times (access here) reported that it started to rain as the aircraft began taxiing and then things escalated from bad to worse to catastrophe. .
The Rev. Esequiel Sanchez felt apprehensive even before his flight took off from the city of Durango around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, en route to Mexico City. It began raining as the jetliner taxied down the runway. The downpour got stronger and stronger.
He was surprised that the plane took off. “I had a feeling it would be a bumpy ride,” he recalled.
As the plane began its ascent, Father Sanchez noticed from his window seat, 1D, that the visibility had gone to zero. Then the plane plunged. The passengers screamed. … Moments later, the plane hit the ground, nose-first. But all 103 people on board survived — four crew members and 99 passengers, including two infants.
Flight 2431, an Embraer ERJ-190AR jet, came to a stop just 300 yards from the runway of the General Guadalupe Victoria International Airport in Durango.
Amid billowing smoke and the acrid smell of jet fuel, crew members pried open the emergency doors. Others fled through a hole near the wing. Father Sanchez, known to his parishioners as Father Zeke, helped a flight attendant escort people off the burning jetliner. Outside, he saw the pilot on the ground — injured but alive. …
Local officials stated that the cause of the crash was a gust of wind that hit the jet, causing its sudden descent and making it hit the ground to the left of the runway.
Father Sanchez said the weather conditions seemed like a microburst — an intense small-scale downdraft produced by a thunderstorm or rain shower. “We came down very violently,” he said.
Aviation Safety, a website that keeps track of accidents and incidents, reported that both engines broke away during the ground slide and that the aircraft came to rest just past the paved end of the runway.
Not that I’m big into religion but maybe the Reverend brought a little bit of spiritual help yesterday. Even the two serious injuries are now on the way to recovery at a local hospital.
Then there is this Facebook video taken by a passenger upon takeoff documenting the entire scene:
The video begins with the plane accelerating in speed, taking off and then suddenly there is a jolt resulting in people screaming. Then the next scene is the passengers running away from the burning aircraft which sits in a field, flames blazing.
If you’re into more technical aspects of this crash then the AV Herald (access here) has some more detailed stats available.
The pilot of the flight, Carlos Galván Meyran, 38, was one of the two people who suffered severe injuries and underwent surgery for a cervical injury on Tuesday evening. He is recovering now.
A terrible accident that could have ended a lot of lives. Meanwhile the flight data recorder as well as cockpit voice recorder have already been recovered and are currently being analyzed as part of the ongoing investigation.
The pilots certainly did a good job bringing the plane down so they deserve praise for that, though nobody knows the outcome of the investigation and the original cause of why this crash happened.