Monday, June 17, 2024

Helicopter crash probe finds no issues with engines, controls

There is no evidence of mechanical malfunction in the crash of helicopter that killed the former governor of Puebla, said the Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).

The agency revealed that an inspection of the helicopter’s two engines found they were functioning normally at the time of impact, although an internal memory system, which could have confirmed the engines’ status, was damaged in the crash.

Inspection of the rotors and transmission also failed to present any sign of malfunction.

The DGAC said all the damage to the helicopter was sustained on impact and there was no sign of a malfunction that could have caused the accident.

The accident occurred on December 24 just minutes after the helicopter took off from Puebla International Airport, killing governor Martha Érika Alonso and her husband — ex-governor of Puebla and Senator Rafael Moreno Valle, and an assistant and two pilots.

The crash has been controversial given that Alonso had been sworn in as governor just two weeks before after a bitter election contest whose results were challenged.

Transportation undersecretary Carlos Alfonso Morán Moguel called the accident “unusual,” citing the craft’s 60-degree, inverted, almost vertical fall.

National Action Party president Marko Cortés, leader of the political party to which the former governor belonged, went so far as to state that the crash had not been an accident, claiming that there had been a “suspicious silence” from the federal government and little investigation.

He added that the crash had occurred on a day with good weather and that the helicopter was in the hands of “expert pilots.”

In February, federal authorities released tapes of communications between the helicopter and the control tower at the Puebla airport, revealing that the pilot did not report problems with the aircraft or any failures in the moments prior to the crash.

The DGAC said it will continue its investigation, which is being assisted by experts from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board and the Italian Agency for Flight Safety, among others.

Source: El Universal (sp), Animal Político (sp)

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