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Old 10th Dec 2012, 23:59   #41 (permalink)

 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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so, I take freefall to be an aerodynamic stall

there were two pilots, so let's not get too wacked out about age

but there is something about night flying in nice wx conditions...you must discipline yourself to use the instruments...night, mountains...very easy to fall for an optical illusion and put the nose on the top of the mountain, thinking its the horizon...horizon is at the base of mountains!
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 00:02   #42 (permalink)
 
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El Universo reports:
  • Aircraft was 61.8 miles from MMMY when it plunged from 35,000 to 9,000 feet.
  • Wreckage within a radius of 300 meters.






Last edited by Machaca; 11th Dec 2012 at 01:39.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 00:07   #43 (permalink)
 
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To summarize what's been reported so far:

A 1969 Lear 25 took off from MMMY for MMTO and went in about 60NM later. Descriptions of the crash site include an extensive debris field. ATC apparently was last in contact with the flight when it was at 11,000'. Elevation of crash site not specified as far as I know.

Various paper documents were recovered from the scene including a drivers license belonging to a celebrity passenger and a temporary airman certificate belonging to a person presumed to be the PIC.

Personal opinion regarding the matter of pilot privileges:

Whether or not the privileges of this certificate entitled the holder to act as the PIC of this flight appears to depend upon whether or not the pilot was conducting a private flight in connection with his business or whether he was being compensated as a pilot. As for matters of currency and proficiency, I wouldn't hazard a guess... It'll all become apparent in due course

Edited in light of new info link from Machaca:

Descent from FL350 at least makes more sense than being at 11,000' 60 NM after departure! That's still a pretty snappy climb though, even for a Lear.

Last edited by westhawk; 11th Dec 2012 at 00:15.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 01:43   #44 (permalink)
 
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So far no real info, just guesses.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 02:02   #45 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
So far no real info, just guesses.
Not quite that barren

Machaca post above bares a close look for facts (real info). What follows from our keyboards after that may be considered guesses.

If it really did plunge from 35000 ft that would be quite significant !

I wouldn't call that CFIT
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 09:20   #46 (permalink)
 
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My apologies...

... for mentioning Iturbide near Guadalajara as I only knew this Iturbide... not the one near Monterrey.
Why was I looking so far when the place was that close ? :-(
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 10:13   #47 (permalink)
 
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If, indeed, the aircraft had reached cruising altitude it is possible that a pressurisation failure could have let to a rapid descent to below 10000 feet and that the crew were not fully aware of the terain hazard.

This would be evident from CVR recordings if available.
As always, this is pure speculation and there is seldom a single cause for an accident, there is almost always a chain of contributing factors.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 12:32   #48 (permalink)
 
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FlightAware Just looking at a flight from August, shows aircraft filed for 410 and 10 minutes into the flight was at flight level 240 - fsmex poster state aircraft was at flight level 270 when it 'fell' from the sky to 8300 feet in seconds and was off the radar in less than 14 seconds. (unconfirmed)

As for Starwood Management, they have an active fleet of at least; 2 Beechjet 400A, 2 G2's, 2 G3's, 5 Hawkers (600-700-800), and a Phenom 100.

Retired of just not flying, 1 G2, 1 G3, 2 Hawkers, 1 Westwind 1124, 1 Lear 23, 1 Falcon 20.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 13:01   #49 (permalink)
 
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Another report about reaching FL 350, followed by a very rapid descent:

Jenni Rivera: Plane or Pilot to Blame for Crash? | Fox News Latino
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 13:07   #50 (permalink)
 
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sevenstrokeroll:

Quote:
but there is something about night flying in nice wx conditions...you must discipline yourself to use the instruments...night, mountains...very easy to fall for an optical illusion and put the nose on the top of the mountain, thinking its the horizon...horizon is at the base of mountains!
Yep. AAL965 could see the lights of Cali from 40 or 50 miles out before they began what was essentially an uncontrolled rapid descent.

The part of Mexico where the lear crashed is similar terrain to that AAL965 impacted and that area of Mexico would have been black, black, black at the time of the crash.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 14:21   #51 (permalink)
 
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AA965 was CFIT. There was no moon that night but visibility was fine. Their descent was controlled, they just decided to land to the south to save a few minutes and when they selected the R designater to start the approach they got the R for Bogota instead and turned east into the mountains. They couldn't see the terrain and crashed. For some reason neither pilot caught the mistake or turn.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 15:38   #52 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
FlightAware Just looking at a flight from August, shows aircraft filed for 410 and 10 minutes into the flight was at flight level 240 - fsmex poster state aircraft was at flight level 270 when it 'fell' from the sky to 8300 feet in seconds and was off the radar in less than 14 seconds. (unconfirmed)
Rapid D from FL270 is not that dramatic if you have working O2 masks from an inadvertant demo done by a B-727 FE while I was deadheading in the back years ago. We were over Florida, got the fog in the cabin and started the emergency descent. After a long couple of minutes, pressurization was restored and we pressed on to a landing, we were near top of descent when the incident occured. Of course, at 0330 with a tired crew in mountainous terrain, the outcome might not have been as favorable.

Any report of a classic Lear involved in a possible upset at altitude brings back memories of the infamous 'go fast' switch that was installed illegally in many planes.

Here's a remembrance from an AVweb columnist:

Quote:
I was luckier than some of my contemporaries who went to work for companies that had either no scruples whatsoever, or no understanding of high speed aerodynamics combined with high altitude meteorology. Those operators were the ones who put "go fast switches" under the panel of their Learjets. The switch disabled both the overspeed warning and stick puller. The 20-series Learjets have so much power they can exceed redline airspeed in cruise flight. Doing so is an exceedingly serious affair because at some speed past redline it induces what is known as "Mach tuck". When that happens the airplane begins to pitch down, eventually uncontrollably until the airplane violently comes apart. There is a very limited time for a well trained crew to take precisely the correct action to save the airplane and themselves. While I was flying as copilot there were some inflight breakups of Learjets, notably freighters. It was later discovered that go fast switches were to blame in at least some of those tragedies.
The Pilot's Lounge #134: Gear Up, Good Night Flying Freight in the Not-So-Good Old Days

If the plane really did fall out of the sky at FL270 that would still be below the region where Vmo (306 kts) would catch up with Mmo (.82). It is alleged that the Lear 23 originally had a Vmo of 350 knots but when the Model 24 was produced it was over 12,500 lbs. and became a FAR 25 aircraft. Among other things, this meant that the windshield had to be tested with the unlucky four pound chicken shot out of a compressed air cannon.

Apparently 306 knots was the fastest chicken that didn't break the windshield so that became certificated Vmo. Back in the cowboy days of Lear flying on some Lears the 'go fast' switch would raise the barber pole back to 350 knots since in the U.S. (and Mexico for that matter) you would be 250 or below until you climbed above 10000 and there weren't many four pound chickens above that altitude.

At least some Lear mishaps were thought to be caused by a redline 350 knot climb causing an inadvertant mach overspeed at some point and resultant loss of control.

350 knots at FL270 on a standard day is about mach .86 I calculate.

Hopefully the Lear 'go fast' switch is just a bad memory but it raises a possible classic Lear mishap scenario. I still have colleagues who absolutely love to climb a jet at barber pole speed, even with hills around.

Quote:
Another report about reaching FL 350, followed by a very rapid descent:
I wonder if they really made it to FL350 in 62 miles or if that was the filed altitude? As in the AA Cali crash, the translation sometimes helps propagate reporting errors among journalists not familiar with aviation.

Last edited by Airbubba; 11th Dec 2012 at 15:43.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 15:54   #53 (permalink)
 
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bubbers44:

Quote:
AA965 was CFIT. There was no moon that night but visibility was fine. Their descent was controlled, they just decided to land to the south to save a few minutes and when they selected the R designater to start the approach they got the R for Bogota instead and turned east into the mountains. They couldn't see the terrain and crashed. For some reason neither pilot caught the mistake or turn.
As I said, AA965 made an essentially uncontrolled descent. I suppose I could have worded it better. Any time someone on an IFR flight plan grossly departs procedurally airspace while descending to the max, speed boards and all, is in what I considered an uncontrolled descent.

Granted, the AA965 resumed control of sorts just before impact.

In the instant case it appears the Lear crashed pretty much on the flight plan route. Whether the descent was initiated by the crew is still unknown to us at this time.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 18:20   #54 (permalink)
 
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Some interesting things about the company running this aircraft.
CAVEAT: this is a media report, and as such a grain of salt may be needed.

Quote:
Starwood is subject of a federal lawsuit in Nevada. QBE Insurance Corp. alleges that a Starwood aircraft was ordered seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration when it landed in McAllen, Texas, from Mexico on Sept. 12.
The New York-based insurer sued in October to rescind coverage for the Hawker 700 jet.
Starwood, in a court filing, acknowledged that the DEA was involved in the seizure of the aircraft in McAllen.

Nevada secretary of state records list only one Starwood officer - Norma Gonzalez - but QBE alleges that the company is owned and managed by Ed Nunez, who, according to the lawsuit, is also known as Christian Esquino and had a long criminal history.

Starwood rejected the insurer's description of Nunez's role at the company.

According to QBE's lawsuit, Esquino pleaded guilty in federal court in Orlando, Fla., in 1993 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

The Florida complaint alleges that Esquino and 12 others participated in a scheme to bring large amounts of cocaine and marijuana to the U.S. and bribe a Bahaman official.

QBE said Esquino also served two years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud involving an aircraft in Southern California in 2004. QBE said Esquino's attorney stated in court back then that his client had been under investigation by the DEA for more than a year.
What's this to do with the crash, you may wonder?
from robbreid's link up there:
Quote:
... a company under scrutiny over its alleged links to a businessman convicted of falsifying aircraft maintenance records and an alleged plot to smuggle Saadi Gaddafi out of Libya. ... Starwood Management, a Las Vegas company that has been battling the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in court over the seizure of one of its planes. ...
As it is alleged, there may be more noise there than not.

I realize I may be getting ahead of things, but the background on the company leaves me a little unsettled regarding how professional their operation was. A company's culture will influence a whole host of decisions, in safety, operations, maintenance ... etcetera.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 11th Dec 2012 at 18:25.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 22:52   #55 (permalink)
 
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Pure speculation:

Possible explosive decompression @ FL350 .... followed by intentional emergency descent ..... without quick-donning O2 mask or no oxygen flow. Result - partial lack of conciousness (or temp complete loss) and spatial disorientation leading to unintentional descent to below level of surrounding terrain. Probable cause: mechnical failure combined with pilot error.

There's not much fuselage volume in a Lear Jet. If it blows and one of you don't get the mask on instantly .... things can get more than interesting very quickly. It's my guess that in most cases private/corporate pilots (at least one of them) don't actually wear the mask at high altitude.

Thought: Most celebrities know nothing about flying. When they charter a jet, especially an older/cheap one, they don't necessarily get what they expect.

Last edited by surplus1; 11th Dec 2012 at 22:55.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 01:45   #56 (permalink)
 
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I wouldn't put the blame on the 1969 Lear 25 as the cause. It probably had nothing to do with the crash. All we know now is we have 1,000 ft of Lear Jet and people parts spread over the crash site. Nothing else. We may never know what caused the crash. When I was flying them there were no voice recorders or FDR's to record flight conditions.

Last edited by bubbers44; 12th Dec 2012 at 01:51.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 02:07   #57 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
All we know now is we have 1,000 ft of Lear Jet and people parts spread over the crash site. Nothing else. We may never know what caused the crash
There is certainly a lot that can be done with what's available.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 02:18   #58 (permalink)
 
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What????? Wreckage just tells you where it hit the mountain and what direction. Nothing else.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 02:40   #59 (permalink)
 
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Why are Lears "easy to fly" in cruise?

Forgive OT and SLF question (or not, as mods whim): what little I know tells me modern transports need such fine management in high-altitude cruise that many airlines insist that the electronics must be in charge under normal circumstances. In particular, a handful of KPH separate stall and overspeed.

Why is it than an antique bizjet - surely without all the sophistication of modern electronics - seems to (normally) survive that regime without heroics? All in the wing design?
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 02:50   #60 (permalink)

 
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I had the privilege of meeting a very well known celebrity...so well known at one time any one of you would have waited up to see her on dave letterman/

due to age and a bad illness she is less well known now. But she confided in me that she had been traveling in chartered business jets and thought that they were not well maintained...and she insisted on flying on regular well known airlines.

so it does happen...poorly maintained planes...but

one thing does strike me funny...according to one poster, the climb seemed well expedited...could they have climbed like HECK intentionally, and been near the stall at the end of the climb, attempting to ZOOM the last couple of thousand feet? OR could a faulty ASI had the guys climbing very well, until BOOM.


I agree now it doesn't seem a CFIT...with wreckage so spread out...but who knows?
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