Mexican Officials: Learjet Crash Not Caused By Foul Play

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Mexican officials' initial investigation of the Learjet crash in Mexico City that Nov. 4 killed Mexico's Interior Minister, and second most powerful official, Juan Camilo Mourino, along with eight others on the jet and five on the ground, suggests pilot competence and wake turbulence may have contributed, according to Mexican officials. The interpretation of evidence that includes analysis of the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder notes "apparent deficiencies in the training and certification process of both pilots," according to Communications and Transportation Minister Luis Tellez.

The Minister said the contract pilots took more than a full minute to slow the jet after being told to do so by controllers and their speech appeared to suggest they were not entirely familiar with the aircraft's cockpit instrumentation. As a result, the Learjet closed distance with a Boeing 767-300 that it was following in sequence to landing. According to the Minister, the Learjet encountered turbulence, perhaps the wake turbulence of the Boeing, and crashed. Recent violence against Mexican officials increased the profile of the deadly crash and raised concerns of foul play.