37 Years ago today: On 31 March 1986 a Mexicana Boeing 727 crashed near Maravation, Mexico after an in-flight fire caused by a burst tyre; killing all 167 occupants.
|Date:||Monday 31 March 1986|
|Operator:||Mexicana de Aviación|
|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|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Las Mesas ( Mexico)|
|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|
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 takeoff 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.