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Cuban plane crash leaves over 100 dead

photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

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On May 18th, a Cuban plane crashed, killing 110.

The plane came from a Mexican charter company. The plane and the company have been at the center of multiple safety concerns.

The plane in question, a Boeing 737, was banned from Guyana airspace after it was found that the crew allowed dangerous luggage overloading.

Whether the airline is going to survive is an open question.”

— George Farinas, a retired Delta pilot

In 2010 or 2011, a plane rented from the same company briefly dropped off radar, which triggered an immediate response from Cuban aviation officials. The pilot and co-pilot were suspended due to serious technical knowledge issues.

Cubana de Aviación, Cuba’s national airline company is not certified to fly Boeing airplanes so the flight crew was also from the Mexican airline company.

A retired Cuban pilot Romilio Oms said that cargo might have played a role in the plane’s crash.

Before takeoff, planes need to be balanced according to their cargo, passengers and fuel. Romilio Oms said that the plane seemed to have problems in the air immediately; the poor balance could have contributed to the crash.

The plane was manufactured in the United States; Cuban officials wil give access to United States officials and experts.

This crash is Cuba’s worst plane crash in about 30 years. The last one was in 1989 was when a plane was en route to Milan, Italy. It crashed soon after takeoff and 19 homes were destroyed, with 150 lives, 24 of which were on the ground.

Cuban authorities have identified 20 of the 110 victims; it is not known if any Americans were on the flight.

 

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Cuban plane crash leaves over 100 dead