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American pilot killed in cargo jet crash in Mexico

  • Story Highlights
  • Cargo jet crashes Sunday just west of Monterrey, Mexico, killing the pilot
  • Both pilot and co-pilot were American; co-pilot was severely burned
  • NTSB has sent investigators to Mexico to help with crash investigation
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(CNN) -- A cargo jet crashed Sunday just west of Monterrey, Mexico, killing the pilot and injuring the co-pilot, a company representative said.

The crash occurred at 2:15 a.m. as the McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-15 freighter approached the airport in Saltillo, Mexico, carrying a load of auto parts, said Donald McNeff, vice president of USA Jet Airlines.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which confirmed the death of the pilot, reported no one was injured on the ground. The co-pilot suffered severe burns. Both the pilot and the co-pilot were U.S. citizens.

The NTSB has sent a team of investigators to assist the Mexican government in its probe of the incident.

The jet's trip began at company headquarters at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a half hour west of Detroit, McNeff said.

It then flew to Hamilton, Ontario, where it picked up cargo and continued to Shreveport, Louisiana, where it cleared customs, he said.

It was close to the airport grounds in Saltillo in clear weather when the crash occurred, he said.

USA Jet Airlines, founded more than 20 years ago, carried cargo across the Americas, McNeff said.

About five years ago it added passenger service. It has a 22-plane fleet, including the aircraft involved in the crash.

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