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Old 14th Dec 2012, 13:10   #121 (permalink)
 
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An article in this morning's local newspaper (for where I live). It confirms that the captain held valid FAA certificates. It also discusses the predatory Mexican cops:

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Old 14th Dec 2012, 13:15   #122 (permalink)
 
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rob:
Which part of that link points to the Captain's certs?

I was a bit confused by the format.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 14th Dec 2012 at 13:17.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 14:10   #123 (permalink)
 
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Mexico License
If they were flying in Mexico with a valid Mexican license, what difference does it make what his USA privileges on a Temporary Airman Certificate are ?


"N" registered airplane operated by a company in Las Vegas owned by a company in Houston.

Doesn't matter if it's a US registered airplane. A Mexican pilot certificate is valid in Mexico for any aircraft.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 14:30   #124 (permalink)
 
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I believe that under ICAO rules, one can fly a foreign-registered aircraft using one's national licence. (That came up once in Nigeria, when I had to look that up for some Nigerian-licenced pilots who did not want to fly a rather sketchy little Cessna with an N-registration. Try and guess who ended up doing the test flight?) As long as you stay within your national airspace you can fly any foreign-registered aircraft on your national licence. Once you go international, though, then you would need the appropriate national licence for the aircraft's state of registry.

In other words, the accident pilot, a Mexican national flying in Mexico on his Mexican licence, was perfectly legal to operate an N-registered aircraft within Mexico. The assumption is that he had the Lear 25 on his Mexican licence.

This accident will probably turn out to be a big mess in terms of legalities if all the t's have not been crossed and all the i's dotted. It would have to be something like the accident aircraft really being demo'ed for sale, which seems pretty unlikely, or else that it was properly leased to a Mexican operator, because, at first glance, there's no way the American owner could have a Mexican national on their roster to fly on their 135 certificate.

As someone else has alluded to, you can get away with a lot of things by showing a green ID card in various third-world countries, one with a picture of one of our presidents; that gets you out of trouble with local officials. Now, though, after such a high-profile accident, all bets are off.

My bet is that the Mexican authorities shall be shocked, absolutely shocked, to discover that some corners were cut by the owner and the operator of the accident aircraft, when even figuring out exactly who those are is going to be a great mystery.

Edited to add: I use AOL, when part of that is this stupid Huffpost, all those bits of news such as "Boy trapped in refrigerator eats own foot!" So there was a snippet about how the registered address for Starwood Aviation is a post office box in a strip mall next to a tuxedo shop.

We don't have to guess who the flight crew were, at least.

"What went wrong?" is another question easily solved, at least by all the armchair aviators who always come out of the wrinkled fruit's woodwork. "The pilot was too old!" is a very good start, of course. Then there is CFIT, sort of, given that the machine did seem to have suffered some sort of collision with the terrain, yes. The definitive answer is a long way off, at least a year until the full Mexican accident report, assuming one ever comes. Meanwhile, we can settle back here and let our amateur experts get to work sifting all the possibilities.

Last edited by chuks; 14th Dec 2012 at 15:15.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 16:02   #125 (permalink)
 
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Mexican Charter Flight

As pointed out by others, this tragic episode will bring new meaning to 'Mexican charter flight' or just reinforce old stereotypes about 'Mexican charter flight'. What a disaster all around, and too bad this talented group of passengers made a poor choice.

Having flown make and model of this aircraft I'd opine that pressurization loss was not the cause. Controlled flight into terrain does not fit the scenario. Press accounts point to a descent rate of about 50,000 fpm. Sounds like a high speed upset perhaps followed by Mach tuck and controllability issues. Be interesting to see if all the parts were on the Lear as it impacted. The condition of the captain's remains, probable lack of a FDR, and a primitive CVR (in pieces?) do not help resolve this.

"Free opinion is worth exactly what you pay."
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 16:28   #126 (permalink)
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twincommander;

Out of interest, what is this particular Lear like in a stall or approach to the stall? Is it nasty, is it relatively benign or somewhere in between? Does it flick over or remain reasonably stable in roll in the approach to the stall? Would a stall be difficult to recover from using standard techniques, (unload the wing by getting the nose down)?
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 16:54   #127 (permalink)
 
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Doesn't matter if it's a US registered airplane. A Mexican pilot certificate is valid in Mexico for any aircraft

Sure about that???
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 18:12   #128 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Doesn't matter if it's a US registered airplane. A Mexican pilot certificate is valid in Mexico for any aircraft

Sure about that???
Yes, sure about that.
To act as PIC of an N-reg you need either a FAA certificate (license validation or original issuance) or the license/certificate of the country in which the airplane is operated. Mexico in this case.
With the understanding that the "host" countries regulations allow this.

Quote:
U.S.‑Registered Civil Aircraft. Section 61.3(a) permits a U.S.‑registered civil aircraft to be operated within a foreign country by a pilot holding a foreign pilot license with the appropriate aircraft rating issued by that foreign country. A person who holds a U.S. pilot certificate with the appropriate aircraft rating may also operate a U.S.‑registered civil aircraft in an ICAO Member State country. However, persons who operate a U.S.‑registered civil aircraft in an ICAO Member State country should be aware that some foreign countries may have additional operational and pilot certification requirements. Each pilot must inquire with that foreign country’s CAA and become familiar with that country’s operational and pilot certification requirements before operating a U.S.‑registered civil aircraft in that country.
What I don't understand is how he could have been issued with a "restricted" Commercial under 61.75 (based on foreign license validation) since a license validation only applies as a Private Pilot License.

Back in the 80-ies if you held a foreign CPL you would be issued a US CPL validation with the restriction that it was not valid for Commercial operations, eg only PPL priviliges.
Same with an ATP.
Then at some point the FAA decided to only issues Private certificate validations since that is what you are limited to anyway.
So now a foreign CPL or ATP holder gets a PPL validation.
IR and type ratings included if applicable.

Quote:
5-597 U.S. PILOT CERTIFICATES THAT MAY BE ISSUED TO A PERSON WHO HOLDS A FOREIGN PILOT LICENSE. The kinds of U.S. pilot certificates that may be issued to a person who holds a foreign pilot license in accordance with § 61.75 are:
A. Private Pilot Certificate. A U.S. private pilot certificate on the basis of a valid foreign pilot license that is at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level.
B. Commercial Pilot Certificate. A commercial pilot certificate if the certificate was issued before August 4, 1997 and was on the basis of a foreign pilot license at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. commercial pilot certification level. After August 4, 1997, a person who applies for a U.S. pilot certificate on the basis of holding a foreign pilot license may only be issued at private pilot certification level. As of August 4, 1997, all aircraft ratings issued on a U.S. pilot certificate are issued only at the private pilot certification level. The aircraft ratings on the foreign pilot license must be at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level to be placed on the U.S. pilot certificate.
Source: Flight Standards Information System (FSIMS)

Last edited by B2N2; 14th Dec 2012 at 18:16.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 18:48   #129 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
What I don't understand is how he could have been issued with a "restricted" Commercial under 61.75 (based on foreign license validation) since a license validation only applies as a Private Pilot License.

Back in the 80-ies if you held a foreign CPL you would be issued a US CPL validation with the restriction that it was not valid for Commercial operations, eg only PPL priviliges.
Same with an ATP.
Then at some point the FAA decided to only issues Private certificate validations since that is what you are limited to anyway.
So now a foreign CPL or ATP holder gets a PPL validation.
IR and type ratings included if applicable.
Yes, all correct, but if you look at the picture, the initial certificate(validation) was issued in 1984.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 19:25   #130 (permalink)
 
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At a guess, the pilot did a Lear type-rating in the States, when he was issued that restricted Commercial. Then he probably went back to Mexico with the US paperwork and got the Lear type-rating transferred to his Mexican ATPL.

That would be a simple way of getting the Lear type-rating, is all, to save having to hunt up a Mexican TRTO that did Lear type-ratings. The pilot would then have been using his Mexican license from that point, to fly in Mexico, including on an N-registered aircraft. There would have been no point to keeping that American licence valid if that were the case.

For instance, I once flew an N-registered aircraft in Nigeria on my Nigerian license, since my American licence was out of validity for lack of both an FAA Flight Review and an FAA medical. That was perfectly legal, so long as I stayed within Nigerian airspace, as I did. I would only have needed a valid American licence outside of Nigerian airspace.

Assuming that I had got something badly wrong, then our amateur accident investigators could have gone to the FAA website (faa.gov), looked me up and discovered that my American licence was out of validity and thought "Ah-hah!" that I was flying without a valid licence. Take things a step further and understand that one doesn't necessarily need to meet FAA standards to fly an N-registered aircraft legally.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 19:41   #131 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
In any case it should not have been reissued as a CPL on a renewal.
The original was issued before 1997 but upon re-application it should have been a private.
The whole purpose is to get these "restricted" commercials out of circulation.
Do not know, when I went from paper to plastic I was reissued a restricted commercial.
It is possible that they cannot downgrade your license.
Not that there is a big difference between private and restricted commercial
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 19:51   #132 (permalink)
 
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chuks, many thanks for explaining that.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 20:18   #133 (permalink)
 
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I stand corrected, I was wrong;

Upon further reading in the FSIMS I found the following:
Quote:
H. Issue a § 61.75 U.S. Pilot Certificate.
NOTE: Section 61.75 limits the issuance of the aircraft rating on the U.S. pilot certificate to the private pilot certification level. However, if an applicant holds a § 61.75 commercial pilot certificate that was originally issued before August 4, 1997, that person may retain that pilot certificate; however, all ratings issued on or since August 4, 1997 are issued at the private pilot certification level.
I can only assume that it is at the discretion of the FSDO inspector since it use the word "may" instead of "must".
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 22:39   #134 (permalink)
 
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Lear 25 Stall Characteristics

PJ2,

I can shed no light on stall characteristics as all our Learjet training was 'approach to stall' in the aircraft, in the usual three different configurations. Your question is a good one as that could be one of the upset scenarios - but not likely at FL280 given the normal fast climb and cruise profile.

This aircraft probably had its original ancient 'iron gyros' for vertical reference, with their life limited by ball bearings. Imagine the left side attitude indicator tumbling in front of the elderly captain. Imagine his gyro tumbling in incapacitation, with little experience or command presence in the right seat.

The autopilot was notoriously bad even by standards of the day. Legend had it Bill Lear wanted absolute minimum weight and cost, so would not use an autopilot built by a 'real' company like Collins or Bendix-King. The altitude hold function was unlike any other aircraft I've flown... very poor.

Anyone know if this was an RVSM aircraft? I'll bet not, given the $250,000 price tag mentioned in the press and the 28,000 foot altitude of apparent cruise flight. Hard to believe Jenni Rivera ended up in this clunker, given its history, its owner and its crew... very sad.
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 01:34   #135 (permalink)
 
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Now that we think the captain was legal in Mexico, how about the 20 year old FO? I was flying J3 cubs and cessna 150's when I was 20. This kid is flying right seat in a Lear Jet? What training did he have? I have been there with bending the rules with charter flying so have an idea what they were doing.

If the old guy was asleep the 20 year old probably would have a problem if the autopilot failed because he bumped the yoke. Now he is hand flying with little or no experience. My post about our Lear flight to LAS earlier shows how easy it is to get a Lear out of control if you don't have experience.

Did you notice the Mexican police that came out to the crash site stole a lot of crash evidence and probably cash and were put in jail while they were guarding it? Now we are expecting an accurate accident report? Unlikely.
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 02:41   #136 (permalink)
 
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bubbers44
Quote:
Now that we think the captain was legal in Mexico, how about the 20 year old FO? I was flying J3 cubs and cessna 150's when I was 20. This kid is flying right seat in a Lear Jet? What training did he have?
I know at least 3 F/O's flying 747-400's for two very famous and well renowned european airlines around 20 y.o. Its not so unusual in Europe, mainly "by" Holland and Germany skies in these times, and we could see very young ones even at the left seats too. I still remember entering some years ago the cockpit of a Dutch 747 and their "ages-sum" wasnt for sure above fiftys+

Last edited by JanetFlight; 15th Dec 2012 at 05:08.
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 05:47   #137 (permalink)
 
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" Now that we think the captain was legal in Mexico, how about the 20 year old FO? I was flying J3 cubs and cessna 150's when I was 20. This kid is flying right seat in a Lear Jet? What training did he have?"

Just my 2 cents worth....I met a Falcon 10 FO during my first night long distance cross country flight. He started with a Texas (?? it was awhile ago now) as basically a janitor. Became an FO at 21 on his birthday and at age 24 had accumulatd quite a bit of time when I met him. (BEAUTIFUL aircraft btw). I believe it's entirely what you do with your time that matters. You could go to one of the best training centers, screw off and just barely make it through....OR, go to a lower reputation center and bust your hump. I KNOW which pilot I would want...!!
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 07:32   #138 (permalink)
 
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Following the logic of several posters here that younger is better for pilots, why didn't the 20 yo hot shot save the day?
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 08:08   #139 (permalink)
 
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Bonin was 34. "Better old pilot than good pilot "...
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 08:52   #140 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to those posters who clarified the issue of operating the N registered Lear in Mexico on a Mexican pilot license. As for the flight being "private", that's pretty much what I expected the story to be.

I've flown extensively in Mexico under parts 91 and 135 and handed out my share of Mexican business cards (in $20, $50 and $100 denominations!) to rectify those niggling little documentation issues which always seem to arise when not using a handler. While this is widely recognized by most seasoned visitors to Mexico as being pro forma in local jurisdictions, the Federales officially frown upon such things and in fact deal with such matters rather harshly when it can be shown that they know about it. That said, it may be perfectly legal to "demo" this N registered aircraft and operate it "privately" under Mexican law as far as I know. I suppose opinions vary and I'll look forward to reading what the official Mexican government view ends up being.

There are a number of possibilities as to how the Lear came to be heading downhill in such a hurry. It's happened to other Lears before for various reasons and sometimes those reasons were never determined. I hope there's enough info to work with so that the reason for this one can be determined.

Last edited by westhawk; 15th Dec 2012 at 08:54.
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