It has now been confirmed that Mexican-American superstar Jenni Rivera was killed in the pre-dawn crash of the Lear 25 business class jet she was traveling in Sunday morning after performing a concert at Arena Monterrey before a crowd of over 15,000 screaming, adoring fans.
Rivera, and her entourage departed the executive airport in Gral. Escobedo at 0318 Sunday morning on a flight to Toluca Mexico. The flight should have taken about an hour. 10 minutes into the flight, the plane disappeared from radar 61.8 miles south of Monterrey. Air and ground searches began at daybreak and the wreckage was discovered about mid-morning on a hillside on a ranch known as El Tejocote in the small town of La Colorada which is located within the municipality of Iturbide, Nuevo Leon.
According to Alejandro Argudín, spokesman for Aeronáutica Civil, “There were no survivors. The plane, a 1968 Lear 25, was totally destroyed by the tremendous impact with the debris field stretching over 300 meters. The impact was so great, that the plane is unrecognizable.”
It might be a comfort to some to realize that in a crash such as this one, where apparently the pilots drove the plane into the side of the mountains, death would have been instantaneous and painless and the passengers probably would not have known anything was amiss.
MORE ABOUT THE LEAR 25 AND IT’S HISTORY
The plane involved in this tragedy was a Lear 25 built in 1968 and entered service ironically on December 8, 1968. It was one of 373 built during it’s production run.
This model plane has a speed of 474 knots or 545 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 45,000 feet and a rate of climb of 6,050 feet per minute which would put it at maximum altitude in about 8 minutes. Information only relevant to understand what could have happened.
The plane, tail number N345MC has an interesting history.
FAA records show the Lear being involved in one other accident where it ran off the runway at Amarillo (Tx) International Airport in 2005, the cause being determined to be uneven distribution of fuel in it’s wing tanks. At the time, the plane was owned by MCOCO Inc of Houston, Texas
In May of 2012,the plane was registered to Starwood Management, a Las Vegas corportation headed by Christian Eduardo Nunez Esquino, who goes by the name Ed Nunez. Starwood Management is involved in the leasing and charter of aircraft.
Nunez is a colorful character.
In February 2010, Starwood and Wing Financial Management, another company owned by Nunez, filed for bankruptcy, seeking protection from its creditors, who were owe more than five million dollars.
In 2011, another aircraft belonging to one of Nunez companies was rented by four people in Mexico who were accused of planning to use the aircraft to smuggle family members of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi into Mexico according to official documents and newspaper accounts.
Nunez testified for the prosecution in that case.
In February of this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized another aircraft owned by Nunez” management company, a 1982 Gulfstream, on suspicion of being used to transport narcotics.
Starwood Management has filed suit in federal court in Tucson, Arizona, demanding the return of the aircraft valued at $ 1.5 million.
I think at the end of the investigation, “Pilot Error” when be determined. According to reports, the biggest piece of the wreckage can be carried by one man.
Information coming out of Monterrey suggests that what passes for the remains of Jenni Rivera have been retrieved and transported to Monterrey where the singers brother, Lupillo Rivera is supposed to arrive this morning to make the identification.
A spokesman for Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes de México (SCT), Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told the family that nothing in the wreckage is recognizable, neither materials or human remains. However, according to a photo released this morning by El Universal, a California drivers license issues to Jenni Rivera was recovered from the wreckage.
Rescue personnel have been on the scene now for the past 24 hours conducting the investigation and recovery. It may be months, if ever, if the cause of the crash is determined. However, the pre-dawn hours are the most dangerous for pilots and for truckers and looking at live video feeds from the crash scene, it seems obvious what happened.
35 years in the trucking business and living in Mexico for the past 15 years, make me uniquely qualified to offer my insight and opinion into the Mexican trucking industry and other border issues. A contributor to SiriuxXM Road Dog Channel 106 and to the award winning Lockridge Report, Mexico Trucker Online continues to publish the unvarnished truth about the subjects we cover.