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August 2, 2018

Aeromexico plane crashes after takeoff near Durango, Mexico

An Aeromexico airline flight crashed near Durango, Mexico, injuring at least 97 people, at least two critically, according to early estimates. One hundred and three passengers and four crew members were on board the Embraer 190 aircraft.

Aeromexico Flight 2431 took off from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport en route to Mexico City when it crashed minutes later around 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, according to news reports. The airport is located roughly 40 minutes outside of Durango, which is more than 550 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Weather conditions at the time included heavy wind and rain.

“We are thinking about all of the passengers and crew onboard and thankful there were no fatalities, although we know they suffered a very traumatic experience,” said Motley Rice aviation attorney, former U.S. DOT Inspector General, and CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo. “In working on plane crashes in the past in Mexico, we know it can be very difficult for international passengers and travelers from all over the world travel to and from Mexico on Aeromexico and their code share partners such as Delta Airlines.” 

 “The focus of the investigation will likely be regarding what weather advisories were received, the decision to proceed with the flight under such conditions, whether the airport had wind-shear detection equipment, and, if so, if it was working and what the weather radar showed,” said Schiavo. “Wind-shear and microbursts, or sudden changes in wind speed or direction, are dangers to flights not only because they can drive an aircraft into the ground, but because they can cause turbofan engines to flameout — meaning the disturbance of the airflow through the turbine, and the ingestion of rainwater can cause the engine to stop producing power, making a restart on takeoff is impossible.”  

Durango state Governor José Rosas Aispuro Torres told reporters that the plane’s pilot attempted to abort takeoff due to the bad weather, but was not able to successfully do so. A gust of wind caused the plane to suddenly descent, Aispuro Torres said. The plane’s left wing touched the ground, and two engines broke off of the aircraft, he said. The plane crashed shortly after clearing the runway.

Officials, including state security and emergency departments, were dispatched to the scene to tend to the injured and investigate the crash. The plane’s pilot was included among the injured, according to news reports. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

Aviation Litigation

Attorneys on Motley Rice’s aviation litigation team have investigated many cases involving disastrous flight conditions, including litigating plane crashes similar to this crash involving international airlines Air France 358 in Toronto in 2005, Asiana Airlines 214 in San Francisco in 2013, British Airways 8456 in London in 2009 and Singapore Airlines 006 in Taiwan in 2000. For more information, contact Motley Rice aviation attorney Mary Schiavo at 843.216.9138 or [email protected].