Peru plane crash caused by pilot error
Peru’s President Alejandro Toledo on Monday blamed pilot error for a plane crash, which killed 46 people last week when a Peruvian airliner slammed into a mountain minutes before landing.
"This has apparently been human error. The plane was in perfect condition and the pilot had more than 9,000 hours of flying experience," Toledo said.
Two flight data recorders, or black boxes, recovered from the scene of the tragic crash were being sent to aviation experts in Washington on Monday, he said, according to AP.
TANS Airline Flight 222, a twin engine Fokker 28 turbojet, plowed into the 11,550-foot high Coloque mountain Thursday. Investigators believe the plane's fuel exploded after the airliner hit, causing it to disintegrate on impact.
Four crewmembers and 42 passengers, including eight children, where killed instantly. Toledo added that the remains of six people had been found thus far. TANS said six foreigners were killed, including two Belgians, a Cuban, two Dutch and a Spaniard.
It was not raining when the plane disappeared but low-hanging clouds covered the mountains near Chachapoyas, meteorologists said, leading investigators to believe the pilot accidentally flew the plane into the cloaked mountain.
Enrique Bless, chief of pilots for state-run TANS, said wind shear might have been to blame. He said wind shear - sudden, strong gusts of downward pushing wind - have been registered in Chachapoyas as well as near the Cusco and Juliaca airports, also located in the Andes Mountains.
However, Victor Girao, former president of Peru's Association of Pilots, said he was "100 percent sure" pilot error was to blame. A landing in cloudy conditions should not have been attempted since the airport is not equipped with radar, he said. (Albawaba.com)
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