Cuba says Boeing 737 plane crash last year likely due to crew errors

Cuba says Boeing 737 plane crash last year likely due to crew errors

Cuba aircrash
Firefighters work on the wreckage of a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in the agricultural area of Boyeros, around 20km south of Havana, shortly after taking off from Havana's main airport in Cuba, on May 18, 2018. (REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/File Photo)

HAVANA: Cuba said on Thursday (May 16) an investigation into the crash a year ago of a Boeing 737 in Havana that killed all but one of the 113 people aboard suggests the most probable cause was errors by the crew that died in the tragedy.

The 39-year-old plane, leased by the little-known Mexican company Damojh to Cuba's flagship carrier Cubana, dived into fields south of Havana shortly after taking off on a domestic flight last May 18, bursting into flames.

"The most probable cause of the accident were the actions of the crew and their errors in the calculations of weight and balance that led to loss of control of the plane and its fall during the takeoff phase," the Cuban Institute of Civil Aeronautics said in a statement.

Neither Damojh nor Boeing Co were immediately available for comment.

The crew, that was included in Damojh's lease agreement with Damojh, was Mexican. Most of the passengers on the flight to the eastern city of Holguin were Cuban.

Damojh said last July that black boxes retrieved from the wreckage showed the crew had piloted it at a “very steep angle", leading to a lack of lift that made the plane plunge after take-off.

The Cuban-led commission investigating the crash, including Mexican and US agencies, said at the time the conclusion was premature.

Damojh was banned from flying in Guyana in 2017 because of safety concerns. Mexico’s aviation authority said that it had suspended Damojh in 2010 and 2013 during regulatory compliance reviews.

Source: Reuters/de