Aeroméxico Connect Flight 2431
XA-GAL, the aircraft involved in July 30th 2017 before the accident.
|Date||July 31, 2018|
|Summary||Crashed on takeoff, Suspected microburst, under investigation|
|Aircraft type||Embraer 190AR|
|IATA flight No.||5D431|
|ICAO flight No.||SLI2431|
|Call sign||Costera 2431|
|Flight origin||Durango International Airport|
|Destination||Mexico City International Airport|
Aeroméxico Connect Flight 2431 (SLI2431/5D2431) was a Mexican domestic scheduled passenger flight bound for Mexico City that crashed on takeoff from Durango International Airport on July 31, 2018. All 103 people on board survived, with 85 of them being injured. The majority of passengers were US citizens.
The aircraft was an Embraer 190, registration XA-GAL, msn 19000173. It had first flown in Brazil in 2008. It was first delivered to US Airways as N960UW before being sold to Republic Airways Holdings in 2009. Under Republic Airways ownership, the aircraft was re-registered as N167HQ, operating for Midwest Airlines, a former subsidiary of Republic, and later for fellow Republic subsidiary (at the time) Frontier Airlines, until late 2013. After Republic retired its Embraer 190 aircraft from its operations, Republic then leased N167HQ to Aeroméxico Connect in 2014, who registered the aircraft as XA-GAL. The airframe was 10.3 years old at the time of its hull loss.
The aircraft attempted to take off from Durango International Airport at 3:30 pm and encountered sudden rain and winds, possibly associated with a squall. The flight was bound for Mexico City International Airport. According to video evidence from passengers and accident reports, the plane took off from the runway and gradually lost altitude due to irregular shifting in wind direction, finally coming down in a field about 320 meters from the end of the runway. All 103 people on board the plane survived the crash. The aircraft was destroyed by a post-crash fire.
The accident investigation is being led by Mexico's Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics, with assistance from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Additional assistance is being provided by Embraer SA and General Electric Co. The flight data recorders have been recovered, but as of August 2018[update] there has been no official determination of the cause of the accident.
On Sep 5th 2018 Mexico's DGAC reported in a press conference first results into the investigation. There were three flight crew on the flight deck, a first officer in training was pilot flying in the right hand seat. The takeoff run began in a head wind scenario, which quickly changed into a strong right crosswind and ultimately a strong tail wind as result of a microburst. The investigation so far has not found any technical (both engines were operating normally until being separated from the wing) or human factors issue contributing to the accident. With the flight data, confirmed by meteorologists, simulator tests were conducted, no flight crew was able to get through the scenario with a different outcome. However, the training of the first officer under training had not been authorized and was not carried out according to the required protocols. Although this is not the cause of the accident, it will cause administrative response by the DGAC to establish the responsibilities and apply according sanctions.
- Vazquez, Efrain (August 1, 2018). "Most passengers in non-fatal Mexican plane crash were U.S. citizens". Reuters. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
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- "XA-GAL accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
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