The Puebla prosecutor’s office turned the investigation into the causes of the crash of the helicopter where Governor Martha Érika Alonso, her husband Senator Rafael Moreno Valle and three other people died, by accusing four people involved of manslaughter for reporting that the aircraft it was in good condition.
On March 27, when issuing its final report on the incident, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation – then in charge of Javier Jiménez Espriú – concluded that in no case did the data collected during 15 months “indicate a responsibility or guilt regarding the occurrence of the event ”and announced that it would forward the report to the Attorney General’s Office as it is a federal investigation and to the Puebla Prosecutor’s Office for the corresponding legal effects.
Yesterday, the Puebla prosecutor’s office reported that José Antonio “N”, María Magdalena “N”, Ricardo “N” and Israel “N”, workers of the Rotor Flight Services company, were made available to the MP, related to the operation of the aircraft . Crimes: wrongful death, wrongful property damage and false statements before an authority.
According to the investigation, in 2018 the woman was responsible for the workshop and was in charge of the maintenance of the aircraft; She was detained by police from the capital in the Santa María la Ribera neighborhood, Cuauhtémoc mayor’s office.
After notifying her of the court order against her, she was handed over to the police of the Puebla entity to transfer her and make her available to the judge who requested her in order to determine her legal situation.
In an interview with Elisa Alanís, on MILENIO Televisión, Javier Lozano, who was one of the people closest to the Moreno Valle couple, said: “I don’t believe it, I think about the political environment that President López Obrador himself created: ‘no I’m going to Puebla, I’m not going to take a photo with her (the governor) and the helicopter falls for 10 days, what a coincidence, I don’t believe it ”.
Lozano said that the arrest of four people turns the case around and stressed that “who is accounting for responsibility for the accident in quotation marks is the Puebla prosecutor’s office, not the FGR”; He stressed that he is aware of how scrupulous Moreno Valle was, that he himself traveled in that helicopter with the same qualified and capable crew and, on a clear day, fell through three screws.
In the opinion, the Aviation Accidents and Incidents Investigative and Judging Commission established as the probable cause of the fall of the aircraft “the loss of control of the helicopter, due to a sudden roll to the left that was not recovered by the pilot in command. , causing it to invert in flight and hit the ground with that configuration ”.
However, this loss of control due to the sudden warping (curvature) was due to the fact that a part was not replaced with opportunity, because the technicians did not warn in writing and, on the contrary, they assured that the ship was in good condition, according to the opinion of the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC).
The investigation revealed various omissions attributable to the Rotor Flight Services workshop, especially the lack of information to prevent the aircraft from operating, since it had not been in a position to do so seven days before the incident, because a part should have been changed eight days before the accident.
FINAL OPINION OF THE SCT
According to the final opinion issued by the SCT, Rotor Flight Service knew, since December 13 (11 days before the accident), that the linear roll actuator of the aircraft was damaged and that it needed to be replaced for proper operation. ; the component had been installed on September 10 of that year.
“Since December 13, 2018, the helicopter continued to operate without the technicians having established in their log that the SAS2 was out of service due to MEL (minimum equipment list) and that the component was required to be replaced no later than December 17 December 2018, in accordance with the authorized MEL of Altiplano Air Services ”, the document states.
The emails that served as evidence to the SCT detail that on December 19 Rotor Flight Service and the firm Precision Accessories & Instruments began the warranty claim process for the failure of the linear actuator.
“The customer tells me that if they remove it, it leaves the machine out of service and right now with the agenda somewhat moved, it cannot be stopped or left out of service, they are also looking at how to do so that it is not out of service” says one of the emails.
The document, presented 15 months after the incident, also shows that on December 20 Rotor Flight Service changed the lower half scissors of the swash plate, “due to excessive play”, freeing the helicopter for operation.
As for Rotor Flight Service, the investigation found that there were “discrepancies in the responses of the maintenance personnel who performed the last services.”
The opinion reveals that the personnel indicated “that the helicopter was in excellent condition to navigate and had all the preventive maintenance; however, in the meetings of the investigating commission it was reported that they found evidence of a malfunction of the automatic pilot ”.
The owner of the helicopter was the company Servicios Aéreos del Altiplano, which entered into a contract with the aeronautical workshop Rotor Flight Services to provide the service of “operation, application of the maintenance program, directives and technical bulletins, correction of discrepancies , the pre-flight and post-flight inspection and administration ”.
Rotor Flight Services has the aeronautical workshop permit number 371 based at the Toluca International Airport; It is authorized to carry out activities in the following classification: category 3 public service, class 1 and 2 helicopters, class 3 engines, class 2 accessories and specialized services.
The AFAC report also indicates irregularities in the information that the workshop provided about the services it performed: “The technicians of the aeronautical workshop found the fault in the linear roll actuator of the Stability Increase System 2 (SAS2); however, according to a statement from the staff, they did not record in the flight and maintenance log that this actuator was deferred, in accordance with the operator’s Minimum Equipment List (MEL) ”.