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Cuba plane crash caused by human error — company

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AFP) — A plane crash that killed 112 people in Cuba on May 18 was caused by human error, the Mexican company that owned the jet said Monday.

Global Air, whose operations were suspended by the Mexican authorities over the accident, said a study by international experts of the black boxes from the Boeing 737 had found that the pilots' take-off was too steep.

“The data reveal that the crew took off at a very pronounced angle of ascent, creating a lack of lift that caused the aircraft to crash,” the company said in a statement on Twitter.

The small firm, which was founded in 1990, said it “has been assuming its responsibilities to the victims of this tragic accident”.

Former employees of the airline have accused it of operating decrepit planes, failing to maintain them adequately, and putting lives at risk with practices such as night flights without radar.

However, the company said such allegations were being fabricated by disgruntled employees, and called for its operating licence to be reinstated.

The 39-year-old plane had passed inspection by Mexican aviation authorities in November 2017.

Global Air had leased it, with crew, to national carrier Cubana de Aviacion for a domestic flight from Havana to the eastern city of Holguin.

According to witnesses, it plunged just as it made its first turn after take-off, crashing into a potato field outside the capital.

Just one person survived the crash, which left the plane a mangled carcass of burned metal.

Global Air said its own team had participated in the analysis of the black boxes, along with experts from the Cuban, Mexican and US aviation authorities and teams from Boeing and engine-maker Pratt & Whitney.

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