PICTURES & AUDIO: Mexican government Learjet 45 crashes in Mexico City

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Mexico’s interior minister Juan Camilo Mourino was among the eight people on board a government-operated Bombardier Learjet 45 who died when it crashed into a street in the financial district when on approach to Mexico City’s international airport.

The crash, which started a severe fire, also claimed an unknown number of ground victims because it occurred in a busy thoroughfare.

mexican-crash-site 
 © Google Maps

The eight-year-old Learjet (XC-VMC) departed from San Luis Potosi at around 17:00 on 4 November bound for Mexico City with eight people on board.

At 18:42, when 2.7nm (5km) from the airport, the aircraft crashed as it was preparing to turn on to final approach for runway 05L. The pilots had just acknowledged a radio frequency change, but did not issue any distress call before the accident.

 mexican-crash-site-closeup
 © Google Maps

    Unofficial air traffic control sources indicate the Learjet was following a Mexicana Boeing 767 at less than the safe wake vortex separation distance, and it was about to turn left on to final approach when controllers lost sight of it. The government is says that there is no evidence so far of sabotage or foul play.

    This audio Flightglobal has obtained covers the last 4min of contact between the Learjet pilots and Mexico City airport’s approach controller. The communication exchanges, all in Spanish, are standard for this stage of the approach, and involve other aircraft also. The Learjet, receiving radar vectors from ATC, was carrying out the downwind and base legs of its pattern to intercept final approach.

    There is no distress call. The last voice in the audio file is Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transport reaffirming that there was no distress call.