From El Universal yesterday. (My translation)
By Aída Ulloa
The sudden fall of the plane in which Secretary of Government Juan Camilo Mouriño died was caused by a burst of turbulence and the inexperience of the pilot and copilot, according to the most solid hypothesis.
The secretary of Communication and Transport Luiz Téllez explained that the Learjet 45 that carried the Secretary and the former antidrug chief José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos did not begin to decelerate significantly until a minute and 12 seconds after the control tower ordered them to. At that moment a Mexicana Boeing 767 was approaching them.
Téllez said that the distance between a plane in the heavy category like a B67 which weighs 175 tons and one in the medium category like the Learjet 45 which weighs 9.4 tons should be a minimum of 5 miles. At the moment that the smaller plane lost contact with radar, the distance between the two planes was 4.15 miles.
"It's possible that the plane lost control because of the turbulence....This is a solid hypothesis," Tellez said.
During the press conference the secretary also mentioned "presumed deficiencies" in the certification process of the pilot and copilot. Although they had 3675 and 11809 hours of flying time respectively they had very few hours of training in the operation of a Learjet 45.
"It appears that they weren't sufficiently familiar with the plane" Téllez reported, adding that how they obtained their certificates for handling a Learjet was already under investigation.
Tellez said that the audio of the black box showed, among the deficiencies, a lack of familiarity on the part of the two pilots with the cabin instruments and a repeated failure to introduce data into the electronic systems. "Furthermore there was a notable disorientation in respect to geographic location" he added.
Tellez said that from the moment the pilots made reference to the turbulence the situation worsened in seconds. The copilot, with more experience assumed command and tried to retake the controls but he did not have time. "There were expressions of angush impotence and desperation and then there was silence."