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Squawks & HeadlinesOfficial: Rivera plane plummeted almost straight

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Official: Rivera plane plummeted almost straight

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Mexico's top transportation official says a plane carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera plunged almost vertically from more than 28,000 feet and hit the ground in a nose-dive at more than 600 miles an hour. (www.chron.com) More...

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bentwing60
bentwing60 12
This one kinda sounds like an MMo excursion, except at 28000 they were still in the indicated airspeed, mach transition point. Depends on OAT. Anywho, it is very easy to exceed VMo, MMo at 280 in a 20 series Lear and when you do you get what is called mach tuck. The nose goes down no matter what because the center of lift moves aft and only gets worse because the nose is going down and the airspeed is increasing. Unfortunately, the inexperienced guy will now deploy the spoilers, which drives the nose down some more. Oops. By now you are probably at .86 or .88 mach and the ailerons start to snatch or at least buzz. Depends on who painted them and if they were balanced properly. Some more oops because MMo is .82 and not a flexible # in a Lear. In the sim the proper recovery was throttles to idle, gear down, screw the gear doors, and slowly pitch up to recover from the overspeed. Not to be glib, but sometimes the instinctive approach is not the correct one. I still suspect that this airplane was not RVSM legal. Nobody flies these airplanes at 280 because they burn too much fuel down there. These airplanes are at home at 450 with a good set of engines. Fuel burn gets back to about 10% of the gross weight or 1200 to 1300 lbs. per hour. About the same as Garretts at those altitudes, if you can get em there.
rayzeeman
Ray Zimmermann 2
For the uninitiated among us, what is an "MMo excursion?" And also, "RSVM?"
jguillen1225
Jose Guillen 1
Mach/Velocity Max Operating or the Maximum Operating Limit Speed
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Ray, FAR part 1 abbreviations and definitions. Don't know what page. Not being a S.A. just sayin, their published and you'll also find Vx, Vy, Vne and all those other things you learned for your private. Jose is correct, my theory is an overspeed, with no associated stick puller, overspeed warning. It's all over pretty quick on a dark night in a worst case scenario. Right or wrong, gonna be pretty tough to prove conclusively with what's left. Google RVSM and read about it on Wiki. Probably won't affect you but good to know.
TinytallNH
TinytallNH 1
28,000 may have been where it had its initial issues, maybe in climb or descent. I'm not sure if the 28,000 was the final altitude and can't find it anywhere that it was or wasn't. Also, if only flying for 100 miles, I don't know that the pilot would bother getting to the higher FLs. However, not having any time in a Learjet, I can't say anything for sure, but it does sound confusing (possibly confounding for those without a lot of time) when MACH TUCK is reached. I'm hopeful for a full report, but if it nosed in at 600+MPH straight down, even if a Black Box was installed, I doubt it would survive with any useful information. I'm not sure that anything will be left of much value from a catastrophic crash like that!
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 5
Starwood Management of Las Vegas, had their other airplane confiscated by the DEA in McAllen Tx.......interesting...............
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 3
Not one aircraft, but two -- from http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/dec/10/lt-mexico-jenni-rivera/

The company is also subject of a federal lawsuit in Nevada.

QBE Insurance Corp. alleges that a Starwood aircraft was ordered seized by the DEA when it landed in McAllen, Texas, from Mexico on Sept. 12. The New York-based insurer sued in October to rescind coverage for the Hawker 700 jet.

Starwood, in a court filing, acknowledged that the DEA was involved in the seizure of the aircraft.

QBE, based in New York, said the DEA also seized a Starwood-owned Gulfstream G-1159A _ insured by another company _ when it landed in Tucson from Mexico in February. Starwood said in its court filing that it didn't have enough information to address the allegation.

Nevada secretary of state records list only one Starwood officer _ Norma Gonzalez _ but QBE alleges that the company is owned and managed by Ed Nunez, who, according to the lawsuit, is also known as Christian Esquino and had a long criminal history.

Starwood rejected the insurer's description of Nunez's role at the company.

According to QBE's lawsuit, Esquino pleaded guilty in federal court in Orlando, Florida, in 1993 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

QBE said Esquino also served two years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud involving an aircraft in Southern California in 2004. QBE said Esquino's attorney stated in court back then that his client had been under investigation by the DEA for more than a year.

Starwood said in its court filing that it didn't have enough information to address either the Florida or Southern California case against Esquino.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
More info on CNN, including falsifying logbook entries and inspections:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/11/us/mexico-plane-ownership/index.html
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
The plane "which lost contact with air traffic controllers soon after takeoff" yet fell from fl280?
Anybody else wonder how they got to that altitude without ATC contact? Granted, it's Mexico and I've never flown in their airspace.
jguillen1225
Jose Guillen 2
I'm half Mexican and I hate to bash on that half of my family's home country, but people in Mexico love taking shortcuts to things to get them done faster and oftentimes, accidents like these are the case. Granted, that happens a lot worldwide, i.e. the crash of AAL191 in Chicago in 1979 was the result of employees taking shortcuts and undermining safety.

I've read and seen on TV that the crew was well over their flying time limit for the day, the PIC at the time of takeoff was 78 years old, and the plane had a questionable past under ownership by a questionable company. Even for a bit on the Spanish news last night, it was being said that drug dealers operating in the area has shot the plane down and that Jenni Rivera was still alive and possibly kidnapped. Being half-Mexican and visiting the country often, I know that a lot of shady stuff goes on there, but I'm willing to be the cause of the crash is just gonna be a group of factors that were ignored and the accident could've been prevented.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
I don't think she'd be alive after coming down from 28000 ft. at 6000 fpm.!!!
bentwing60
bentwing60 0
Your odds are better stowing away in the wheelwell of a 767. They usually fall out when the gear come down. But they don't know it! Sad to say, definitely closed urn at the funeral.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
i think he means there was no emergency contact made
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
Just a little info. nugget for Ray and the uninitiated, a 20 series Lear is equipped with GE CJ-610 engines of varyiny dash #'s and they burn the same amount of fuel at idle sitting on the ramp at sea level as they do at FL 450 at .80 mach or about 440 knots. That's about 600 lbs per hr per side, or 180 gallons per hour. The old Lear freight dog mantra was climb at .80, cruise at .80, descend at .80. All in mach of course. As .82 is MMO, kinda close to the edge all the time.

Cheers

[This poster has been suspended.]

bentwing60
bentwing60 3
Sad to say, that's mostly true, and if there was ever an airplane in the unforgiving of mistakes category, it's an early series Lear. They say a good trainer for it is an MU-2. Learned to fly jets in 23, 24, and 25's flying freight,and they were fun but busy and not very stable in the grand scheme of things. More than a few of these Lear accidents were the result of a not very experienced crew in a very experienced airplane. Again, sad to say, these old airplanes are the bottom of the food chain, and don't draw the high time experienced guys to fly them at 300.00 a day. Bombardier has done all they can to shed the liability of this old fleet Toby.

HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
Thanks for your comment bw60
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
I used to say they were fun, now I say they are entertaining. I'm 6'4" too boot so I didn't fly one I wore it. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the 23's and the early 24's have a 10,000 FPM VSI on the captains side?

[This poster has been suspended.]

bentwing60
bentwing60 1
And that was before you started the other engine at TEB. Did you know Thunder Ray Stern? Just to stay a little on topic, I guess cabotage can be added to the list of infractions committed on this flight and is a major no no in member ICAO nations, which is just about every one that has a flag.
jetbroker
Jeremy Cox 1
I knew Ray Stern. Quite an amazing man.
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Yes he was.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 2
why do they have to kill Lear's stock by saying things like they do towards the end of the article?
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 2
I rise to a point of order. I keep reading about a 78 year old pilot. None of the pictures tweeted show anyone close to that age. I saw a certificate that had to be used with a Mexican pilots license that allowed the man to fly the Lear as a private pilot using visual flight rules. The birthdate on that certificate looked to me like his birthday was in 1984 making him about 28.

I could never board a 43 year old jet owned by a drug dealer, sit in the back, with a VFR private pilot at the controls. OF A LEAR 25!!!!

May they rest in peace.
androidcaptain
Jeremy Swanger 1
Free ride to promote the aircraft, aircraft linked to persons with run-ins with U.S. authorities...saw this coming.
virtualpilot
rodney harris 1
that is very sad the singer allihia pilot over loaded their plane
Rentes201
Jose Renteria 1
Plane was cleared to FL 370
clipper759
joe johnson 1
@bentwing60...Does Lear say if the Mach tuck event is recoverable at lower altitudes if flight idle is selected and the boards are Not deployed without the gear extension? Or is the gear extension required for recovery once your in it?
bentwing60
bentwing60 2
Gotta put out the gear, the need for drag is paramount. This is a high altitude, mach scenario and again, they were in the transition range. The fatal part of this story was the aileron snatch. Supposedly the yoke would go lock to lock and an aileron would flee the scene. Not too many souls around to tell what really happens so I am going by the old sim. stories. Supposedly the reason for a very gentle overspeed recovery was so as not to further excite the ailerons with a g-load and send them from buzz to snatch. Not to mention pulling the wings or tail off. A Lear does not slow down quickly in one piece, but I suppose it might if it were coming apart! If they find an aileron somewhere other than in the confetti pile, I suppose I might be proven right, but given the locale and terrain, they might not find an aileron for another decade. This sort of thing usually occurred in the 40's where indicated airspeed was around 225 at 410 to 215 at 450 and VLO was 200. My gear door comment would apply at 280 because the indicated airspeed was around 300 or better, and the gear doors would probably go away. You wouldn't care if you survived. Call the insurance company. Do you fly a 20 series Lear?
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Sorry for the semi dupe, thought I lost the first one and apparently not. Helps to be able to fly an airplane, it would also help to be able to run a computer!
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Gotta put the gear down, gotta have drag. A Lear doesn't slow down well in one piece and the boards make it much worse in this scenario. Not too many guys around to tell the tale of what really happens, so my comments may be taken as just that. Sim based. The scenario goes that after the overspeed issue (failed or disabled mach warning system, stick puller) the ailerons went into buzz or, worst case snatch,(lock to lock). Recovery only applied to aileron buzz because supposedly snatch meant loss of airframe integrity, I.E splat. Throttles, idle-gear down-very gentle dive recovery so as not to further excite the ailerons, or pull the wings or tail off the airplane. This was usually a high altitude scenario (the 40's) but would apply at 280 with a very high indicated airspeed and exceeding MMO as they were at the transition altitude from IAS to Mach. Anywho, the only way they would prove my scenario would be to find an aileron someplace other than the confetti field. Maybe in a decade given the location and terrain. Otherwise, pure speculation. Do you fly a 20 series Lear?
tucsonguy
Ralph Addison 0
It seems that a country would want the safest of aircraft, pilot and traffic issues, instead of being decades behind in regulations. Mexico is so backward in respect to other countries.
fernandovillavasquez
fernando villa-vasquez -4
Did the engines stall or was it suicide of pilot???