Bad weather caused Aeromexico crash in July, investigators say

FILE PHOTO: An aeroplane of Aeromexico Connect, regional operator of Mexico's largest airline Aeromexico, is pictured at the airstrip at Benito Juarez international airport in Mexico City, Mexico, November 28, 2017. The plane pictured is the Aeromexico-operated Embraer passenger jet that crashed just after takeoff in Mexico's state of Durango on July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - An Aeromexico plane crash in July that injured dozens of people in northern Mexico was likely caused by bad weather, authorities investigating the accident said on Wednesday.

Jose Armando Constantino, the director of analysis of accidents and incidents for Mexico’s civil aviation agency, said there was no evidence of human error or mechanical failures.

“There is no evidence that the motors had a mechanical or technical problem,” he told a news conference.

“The air speed indicates there were many fluctuations, there was an external factor. The external factor is a microburst, the probable cause (of the accident) was due to meteorological factors,” he said.

The Mexico City-bound Embraer jet smashed into scrubland near the runway shortly after take-off during what passengers have described as strong winds, hail and rain. All 103 passengers and crew survived by evacuating from the plane before it caught fire.

Investigators have found no evidence indicating that the crew should have known not to take off, Constantino said. A pilot in training served as copilot while the plane was taking off, he said.

The agency will later present a final report detailing its findings about the accident.

Arturo Duhart, Aeromexico’s director of corporate security, said all passengers and crew involved in the accident have been discharged from hospital. Eleven U.S. passengers who survived the crash sued the airline in August.

Reporting by Veronica Gomez Sparrowe; additional reporting by Diego Ore; writing by Julia Love; Editing by Leslie Adler