Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2014
Status:
Date:Monday 31 March 1986
Time:09:11
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-264
Operator:Mexicana de Aviación
Registration: XA-MEM
C/n / msn: 22414/1748
First flight: 1981-05-04 (4 years 11 months)
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17R
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 159 / Occupants: 159
Total:Fatalities: 167 / Occupants: 167
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Las Mesas (   Mexico) show on map
Crash site elevation: 2743 m (8999 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX/MMMX), Mexico
Destination airport:Puerto Vallarta-Gustavo D. Ordaz Airport (PVR/MMPR), Mexico
Flightnumber: 940
Narrative:
Flight 940 took off from Mexico City (MEX) at 08:40 for a flight to Puerto Vallarta (PVR), Mazatlán (MZT) and Los Angeles (LAX). The left main gear brake was overheated during the take-off run. When the aircraft had reached FL310 the heat caused a tyre on the left hand main gear to explode. Fuel and hydraulic lines were ruptured and electrical cables severed resulting in a cabin decompression. An emergency was declared, but spilt fuel ignited and caused a massive fire on board. Control was lost and the aircraft crashed into a mountain in the Sierra Madre, at an elevation of 9000 feet. It was found that the tire had been serviced with air rather than nitrogen. The air, under high temperature and pressure, resulted in a chemical reaction with the tire itself. This led to a chemical explosion of the tire.

Classification:

Loss of control

Sources:
» Kevin A. Darcy
» Lloyds List
» Violeta Hernandez


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport to Puerto Vallarta-Gustavo D. Ordaz Airport as the crow flies is 656 km (410 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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