RAMOS ARIZPE,Coahuila, Mexico (MTN) — A plane carrying a load of auto parts crashed Sunday as it was trying to land in northern Mexico, killing the pilot, Lon Macintosh of Middletown Ohio, and severely injuring the co-pilot, Christopher Martin.
The plane crashed before dawn Sunday half a mile (one kilometer) from the runway in Ramos Arizpe, 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of the U.S.-Mexico border, said Segismundo Doguin, the deputy civil defense chief for Coahuila state.
The co-pilot received second- and third-degree burns and was in critical condition at a hospital in the nearby city of Saltillo, Doguin said.
The 1967 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15 freighter, Tail Number N-199US, was operated by USA Jet Airlines, based in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Company spokesman Donald McNeff said the crew members were U.S. citizens but declined to identify them by name. Mexican officials gave conflicting versions of the names.
The plane was carrying four tons of car parts it had picked up in Hamilton, Canada at Magna Powertrain,, for the General Motors plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila. That plants makes the Cheverolet HHR among other models.
The plane cleared customs in Shreveport, Louisiana, before heading to Ramos Arizpe, McNeff said.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said in a news release that it sent a team of investigators to Mexico to help determine what caused the crash.
Firefighter, Police and Mexican Military units were immediately mobilized to secure the scene and assit in the rescue and recovery effort.
José de Jesús Cabrera Meza, Field Inspector for Dirección de Aeronáutica Civil, Mexico’s equivalent of the FAA, all factors are being investigated, including weather and time of day. Interviews with witnesses seems to point to the plan coming in on approach too low and hitting power lines and poles on Libramiento José López Portillo and crashing.
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