Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fatal AeroUnión A300 freighter accident at Monterrey, Mexico

by B. N. Sullivan

AeroUnionAn Airbus A300 B4F-203 aircraft operated by Mexican cargo carrier AeroUnión has crashed near Monterrey, Mexico. Early news reports from the scene say there was a post-crash fire, and there were a number of fatalities. Some news report said that five crew members on board the A300 had been killed, but this has not been officially confirmed at this time.

The accident happened at around 23:00 local time on April 13, 2010 near General Mariano Escobedo International Airport (MTY). The airport, which serves Monterrey, is located at Apodaca, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Twitter user @e_benavides has posted some photos from the accident scene.

More details will be posted here as they become available.

UPDATE: The Aviation Herald identifies the aircraft registration as XA-TUE, and says that the accident occurred as the aircraft was departing Monterrey bound for Los Angeles. The same source also reports that the aircraft "lost height after takeoff from Monterrey International Airport's runway 29 and impacted a highway losing an engine and wing before falling back onto the ground." The Aviation Herald says there were two crew members on board; Mexican sources say there were five crew -- three pilots and two mechanics.

UPDATE Apr. 14, 2010: Mexican news Web site El Universal is reporting this morning that the accident happened as the AeroUnión A300 was arriving at Monterrey from Mexico City; Monterrey was an intermediate stop, after which the flight would have continued on to Los Angeles. El Universal reports that there were six fatalities, including the five crew members, plus one person on the ground. The El Universal article includes several photos from the scene.

Airbus has issued a statement that included the following information about the accident aircraft:
The aircraft involved in the accident, registration XA-TUE, MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 078, was first delivered as a passenger aircraft from the production line in May 1979. The aircraft was converted into a freighter in 1998 and has been operated by Aero Union since June 2002. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 55,200 flight hours and 27,600 flight cycles. This aircraft was powered by GE engines.
Condolences to the families and friends of the crew members who perished, and to AeroUnión.