Crews Locate Challenger 601 Wreckage in NE Mexico

 - May 7, 2019, 9:53 AM

Search crews located the wreckage of a Bombardier Challenger 601 that disappeared from radar May 5 over the Mexican state of Coahuila. At least 13 passengers and crew onboard reportedly were killed. According to flight-tracking information, the aircraft, N601VH, departed McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas at 1:52 p.m. PDT for an approximately two-and-a-half-hour flight to General Mariano Escobedo International Airport (MMTY) in Monterrey. Its last radar return came approximately 90 minutes later in the vicinity of Monclova, about 100 nm northwest of Monterrey.

The twinjet had climbed from its cruising altitude of FL370 to FL390 approximately 10 minutes before contact was lost, with indications the aircraft was ascending steeply to FL410 immediately before it disappeared. News reports stated the flight crew might have been attempting to avoid convective activity in the area.

Aerial surveillance located the wreckage Monday in a remote mountainous area near Ocampo, according to a Coahuila government statement. Images from the scene suggest the aircraft hit terrain in a flat, level attitude, with severe fire damage to most of the airframe but the wings and empennage appear largely intact.

The 30-year-old jet (S/N 5043) was registered to Utah-based TVPX Aircraft Solutions Incorporated Trustee and operated by an as-yet unidentified entity. Local media stated the passengers had chartered the jet to watch a weekend boxing match and were returning home.