On July 31, 2018, an Aeromexico Connect Embraer 190 had a major accident on takeoff from Durango while enroute to Mexico City. The video footage from inside the plane looked terrifying:
Fortunately everyone onboard survived. It’s kind of incredible that we’ve seen several incidents in the past few years where the planes are damaged beyond repair, yet everyone onboard survives. That’s a testament to the procedures in place, and also how well built planes are.
The accident was blamed on a microburst during takeoff (which is a downdraft produced by a storm), and as of now there’s no evidence of pilot error being the cause of the accident. Despite that, all three pilots in the cockpit on this flight were fired.
Why? As The Washington Post reports, it’s because investigators say that a trainee pilot was seated in the co-pilot’s seat when the plane took off, which he shouldn’t have been. I guess the actual first officer was in the jumpseat, rather than the trainee. The captain took over the controls from the trainee just before the accident.
The airline said in a letter to employees that the actions of the pilots were “in direct violation of our company’s policies, manuals and procedures.”
As of now we don’t know for sure to what extent this accident could have been prevented if a more experienced pilot had been at the controls all along. But for now they’re firing all three pilots for not following procedures.