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Mexican airline fires 3 pilots involved in Durango crash

September 6, 2018

FILE- In this July 31, 2018 file photo, rescue workers and firefighters are seen at the site where an Aeromexico airliner has suffered an "accident" in a field near the airport of Durango, Mexico. The Transportation department said, Wednesday, Sept. 5, that there was no evidence of pilot error, but acknowledged a trainee was improperly seated in the co-pilot’s seat when the plane took off. It said the plane’s commanding officer took over controls from the trainee just before the crash. (Civil Defense Office of Durango Photo via AP, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican airline Aeromexico says it has fired three pilots involved in an accident that saw a jet crash belly-down into a field in July.

Investigators said earlier that a trainee pilot was improperly seated in the co-pilot’s seat when the plane took off.

They said the plane’s commanding officer took over controls from the trainee just before the crash.

The airline said in a letter to employees published Thursday that the pilots’ actions were “in direct violation of our company’s policies, manuals and procedures.”

Investigators blamed a sudden downdraft known as a microburst for bringing the jet, and said there was no evidence of pilot error.

All 103 people aboard survived, some with injuries, in the July 31 crash.

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