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Press Releases 08

United States Commemorates its Veterans

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Mexico City, November 12, 2008 - “I have been in regular contact with the leader of the National Transportation and Safety Board team and spoke with him today. He will leave Mexico tomorrow to return to the United States. He confirmed to me that, as of today, nothing in the flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder, or the other evidence recovered at the scene of the tragic crash indicates sabotage or criminal activity caused the crash. The preliminary phase of the investigation has concluded, but NTSB will continue to assist the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation’s General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC) in examining evidence and running simulations to try better to understand exactly what happened.

“Our NTSB team leader told me his experts and the other accident investigators from Mexico, the U.S. and the United Kingdom worked as one team under the leadership of the DGAC. He left deeply impressed with the quality of investigation the DGAC has conducted. Our investigators had full access to the site, starting the morning after the crash, and worked hand-in-hand with their Mexican counterparts to conduct a thorough, professional investigation.

“As soon as the Government of Mexico contacted us about the crash, we worked here in Mexico and in Washington to assemble the best crash-site investigators the U.S. had to offer, led by the NTSB. The NTSB investigated more than 2,000 aviation accidents (most of them minor) last year in the United States, and dozens of major accidents in other countries involving U.S.-manufactured planes or parts, under longstanding international agreements.

“In each case, they examine the airworthiness of the aircraft, flight operations of the pilots and air traffic control, and weather conditions to determine the probable cause of the accident and make recommendations to prevent a recurrence. They review the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, collect all the physical evidence they can, document the crash site and analyze the wreckage, motors, and other parts of the plane. In this case, they worked closely under the direction of the DGAC, which has complete control of the investigation. Though all U.S. investigators have left Mexico, they will continue to coordinate with the DGAC and will return if needed.

“I have been impressed with the transparency the Government of Mexico has brought to this investigation. Secretary Tellez has provided regular, detailed reports through the media. The preliminary evidence indicates the crash was a tragic accident; we must now all await the final conclusions of the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics.”

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