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Old 12th Dec 2012, 02:50   #61 (permalink)
 
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Mexico: Rivera's plane hit with 'terrible' impact

From a Mexican transportation official:

The plane carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera plunged almost vertically from more than 28,000 feet and hit the ground in a nose-dive at a speed that may have exceeded 600 miles per hour, Mexico's top transportation official said Tuesday.

Could coffin corner have reared its ugly head or is Lear/coffin corner propensity an old wives' tale?

Source

Last edited by NWstu; 12th Dec 2012 at 02:51.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 02:52   #62 (permalink)
 
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The pilots that flew these aircraft didn't need an autopilot. They were more responsive in control movement but the pilot could do it even at high altitude. Things are changing today so sometimes new pilots need the automation to do their job. I wish we could convince new pilots that automation is to help you, not fly it because you can't.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 03:07   #63 (permalink)
 
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SSR, my roomate and I picked up an elderly lady in South Carolina to participate in a Hollywood show with a Lear 23. Her first question was I was told these charter flights are dangerous and I assured her it wasn't with us flying. Look how many singers have been killed flying to their next concert. I can see why she asked the question.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 03:17   #64 (permalink)
 
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If a CVR with recoverable audio is found, quite a few things might be learned. Even if not, several potential causes might be ruled out or in by laboratory examination of various bits found in the debris field.

But so far there is a distinct lack reliable information for we unpaid internet accident investigators to work from. Just a few snippets of a general nature from our good friends in the press.

I do find the matter of the background of the registered owners of the Lear and the crew qualifications interesting though. Some of it might well come into play as a part of why this happened. I read somewhere in all these news stories that the Mexican investigators expect to produce a preliminary report within approximately 10 days time. Perhaps a few things might be made clearer at that time...
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 03:56   #65 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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.
Quote:
From a Mexican transportation official:

The plane carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera plunged almost vertically from more than 28,000 feet and hit the ground in a nose-dive at a speed that may have exceeded 600 miles per hour, Mexico's top transportation official said Tuesday.
The article cited above also has this quote:

Quote:
Ruiz did not offer any explanation of what may have caused the plane to plummet, saying only that "The plane fell from an altitude of 28,000 feet ... It may have hit a speed higher than 1,000 kph (621 mph)."
Somehow the 'an altitude of 28,000 feet' in Mr. Ruiz's sound bite changed to 'more than 28,000 feet' in the 'lede' of the AP article. Either way, it is different from the FL 350 in earlier reports.

Quote:
Could coffin corner have reared its ugly head or is Lear/coffin corner propensity an old wives' tale?
If the altitude was anywhere near 28,000 I don't believe that coffin corner would be a player in a Lear since the margin between stall and Vmo/Mmo is still generous.

But, if you pulled back the power way back to slow down on level off and forgot to put it back on (as in the BUF commuter crash in 2009) you could quickly slow to a stall. Also, if you let the plane overspeed and didn't get a warning (or it was inhibited as I discussed in a previous post), you could get mach tuck and enter a dive that would ruin your whole day.

The Lear is a small plane with high wing loading and excess power so it really bears close watching in my experience years ago. It made the Airbus I flew next seem stable.

The actual high and low speed characteristics on these early Lears also varied depending on which wing was installed, there were many retrofits offered. Century III, Softflite, Mark II come to mind, not sure if this Lear 25 was retrofited at some point but the interior did look pretty modern in the posted Instagram shots before the fatal flight.

Last edited by Airbubba; 12th Dec 2012 at 06:00.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 04:06   #66 (permalink)
 
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What????? Wreckage just tells you where it hit the mountain and what direction. Nothing else.
Look, if you don't know anything about accident investigations it is better just to keep silent than post such rubbish. One can tell a great deal more than that from a crash site. Without a CVR or FDR it might be more difficult to point to a direct cause but if nothing else the accident scene should be able to eliminate possibilities.

In any event, the press is reporting that they were in last contact with tower at 11K. What was said has the potential to be rather enlightening, methinks.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 04:26   #67 (permalink)
 
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The First Officer was just 20 yrs old, i dont think he had the experience, and its well known at least in Mexico, that in corporate aviation young first officers usually just carry the bags, and raise the gear, so given the need, a lot of them wouldnt be able to fly and land their plane


and, theyre saying this wasnt a chartered flight, that it was a demo flight they were trying to sell the plane to the singer, according to the compnay that owned the plane
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 07:40   #68 (permalink)
 
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FO was 20 years old, fresh out of school, didn't have a type rating which was necessary in this case (which is common practice in Mexico) and I'm told he also flew the Westwind and Gulfstream for the same company, again, no type ratings.

Plane operated under Part 91 but doing charters for hire.

Captain had the type rating but had a VFR restriction (no night VFR in Mexico) and wasn't allowed to carry passengers for compensation, was 78 years old which, correct me if I'm wrong, is fine for Part 91 but this was more like a 135 type of flight.

Seems like your typical executive charter operation in Mexico
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 12:30   #69 (permalink)
 
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diego727, thanks for that.

From your post, I infer that legally, based on what is currently knowable, the pilot in command was not properly qulaified to conduct the flight, but would have been once the sun came up.

"Night VFR in Mexico"

If I understand what you are saying correctly, at night time you are required to be operating under an IFR flight plan in Mexico.

Do I have that right?

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 12th Dec 2012 at 12:31.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 13:18   #70 (permalink)
 
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That is correct, all night flights in Mexico are to be conducted as IFR, and the captain had a "VFR only" restriction on his license.

There is a vast number of November registered planes operating in Mexico in similar conditions, a couple of weeks ago the crew of an N-registered Hawker jet owned by a mexican charter company had a ramp check done by an inspector in Houston and they found they were operating under a Part 91 certificate but renting out their planes to the public, copilot had no type rating, only FAA private pilot licenses, and so on...

Another accident that comes to mind is the Lear 45 XC-VMC crash in Mexico City on which Secretary of the Interior Juan Camilo Mourino lost his life, both pilots had a faux type rating on their licenses...
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 16:23   #71 (permalink)

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It would interesting to know just which auto-pilot was installed in that aircraft. I few Lear 24s (oval cabin windows) back in the mid 70s that had the Lear auto-pilot installed, which at that time was the only auto-pilot that was available for the Lear 24, not sure about the 25 series.

My reason for inquiring is, back then the only time we used the Lear auto-pilot was at cruise. All climbs and descents/approaches were hand flown due to the mistrust of the Lear brand auto-pilot.

As for the speed used in climb, above 10,000 feet we would climb on the barber pole. About every Lear 24/25 pilot I met back then did the same. We did not have the illegal 'Mach' cut out switch in our 24s.

As far as the 'coffin' corner is concerned, at FL280, I believe that would not be an issue.

Hopefully the CVR will be able to shed some light on this accident, if it was working.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 19:27   #72 (permalink)
 
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All kinds of information can be gleaned from even wreckage as devastating as this.

You don't need intact human remains to reveal telltale signs of: hypoxia, cardiac infarction, stroke, smoke inhalation. Small pieces of tissue can retain such indications.

A chemical explosion will likely leave combustion residues not found with a simple "physical" decompression. And any kind of explosive disassembly of part or all of the airframe can leave distortions different from simple impact.

Distortion vs. breakage of the tungsten filaments in indicator/warning lights can determine if they were on (hot and malleable) or off (cold and brittle) at the time of impact. Instrument dials may be "frozen" with the readings at the time of failure.

If you add up the parts and find anything missing, you can backtrack along the flight route and see if it departed the airframe prior to, or during descent.

Not that this investigation will be as easy as some, but experienced investigators know how to find the most obscure evidence.

Last edited by pattern_is_full; 12th Dec 2012 at 19:29.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 19:29   #73 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
It would interesting to know just which auto-pilot was installed in that aircraft. I few Lear 24s (oval cabin windows) back in the mid 70s that had the Lear auto-pilot installed, which at that time was the only auto-pilot that was available for the Lear 24, not sure about the 25 series.
I don't believe the old analog Lear autopilot was ever able to receive RVSM certification so the aircraft would presumably have an updated avionics package, including a new autopilot, to legally fly above FL 290 in the U.S. or Mexico.

Of course, in light what has been revealed here so far about Mexican bizjet operations, maybe the RVSM certification for this aircraft was 'undocumented'.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 19:47   #74 (permalink)

 
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I haven't figured much out...translations!!!!! But..one could say the plane fell or dived a total of 28,000 feet...starting at 35,000feet MSL and hitting the ground about 6,000' or 7000' MSL...total change 28,000 and starting at FL350.

I have an idea what happened...the 70 year old captain let the 20 year old copilot fly...and he wasn't well qualified...IT IS HARD to hand fly anything at altitude and it is EXTRA hard if you have not done it before...also,w ith lots of PAX the plane would have a CG closer to the rear and the plane is LESS stable than if nose heavy .

AT one time all you needed to be a copilot was a commercial,multi with NO type rating...just a few landings.


anyway, I can see the copilot bobbling around and causing a pilot induced loss of control.

I remember the first time I flew a Sabreliner (great plane)...autopilot INOP, We were at MAX altitude (FL 450_) and it was VERY demanding...but I settled down after a few minutes...it was the most important flying I ever did...it gave me the confidence to hand fly any transport at any approved altitude...and the discipline to move the controls only a tiny bit. It also gave me the wisdom in later years, when operating an airliner with out an operational autopilot, to select a lower cruising altitude to enhance stability.

SPEAKING of Sabreliners, the FIRST flight of the F86 Sabre Jet Fighter was 65 years ago...she is now able to receive Social Security!

oh...and everything bubbers wrote is right.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 20:39   #75 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
oh...and everything bubbers wrote is right.
Your're kidding , right ?
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 20:40   #76 (permalink)

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I don't believe the old analog Lear autopilot was ever able to receive RVSM certification so the aircraft would presumably have an updated avionics package, including a new autopilot, to legally fly above FL 290 in the U.S. or Mexico.
Oh, hell, didn't think about that, quite right you are.

Quote:
Of course, in light what has been revealed here so far about Mexican bizjet operations, maybe the RVSM certification for this aircraft was 'undocumented'.
Thus my comment about a working CVR. This whole deal seems to be a bit shaky. Sad out come regardless.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 23:39   #77 (permalink)
 
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LP I don't see anything I posted wrong. Would you please tell me what is. Is it the thousand feet of trashed airplane and people parts that are going to tell the story? Unless the Lear had black boxes in it that is all you have and I don't think they did. If that is the case they can only calculate descent rate and speed when it it hit the mountain. Measure the hole it hit and how far it skidded. End of investigation.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 23:42   #78 (permalink)
 
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It is not just Mexico

Business jet charters seem to have a lot of "interesting" paper work issues in the US as well. Payne Stewart was an obvious one but it seems a lot of the crashes turn up large amounts of dubious practices.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 00:20   #79 (permalink)
 
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Question

Could those classic Lear Jet drivers shed some light if engine lip icing might have been a factor?
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 01:53   #80 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
LP I don't see anything I posted wrong
ignorance of mechanical forensics doesn't make you right either.

Best not to tell the experts that something can't be done when they do it everyday.
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