Final Report: Wake turbulence downed Mexican Learjet 45

 - November 25, 2009, 5:54 AM

Bombardier Learjet 45, Mexico City, Mexico, Nov. 4, 2008–The Mexican Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC) has ruled that turbulence from a Boeing 767-300 caused the crash of the government Learjet 45 that was on approach to Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport. According to investigators, the Learjet 45 pilots’ failure to slow down in time reduced the business jet’s in-trail separation behind the airliner to less than adequate.

The final report confirmed the preliminary conclusions released two weeks after the accident. The investigation found the Learjet was 4.15 nm behind the 767 at the time of the accident, while standard flight procedures require separation of 5 nm. The Learjet’s voice recorder showed that the crew felt the turbulence just before the pilot “lost control” and revealed that the pilots’ voices reflected “anguish, impotence and frustration.” Mexico’s interior secretary and eight others
on board were killed in the accident, along with six people on the ground.