Experts doubt turbulence caused crash of cargo jet in Texas

DALLAS (AP) — Aviation experts say they doubt turbulence could have brought down a cargo jet that crashed into a Texas bay in February, speculating that human error or a massive malfunction are more likely culprits.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why Atlas Air Flight 3591 suddenly dropped as it approached a Houston airport.

Flight safety specialists see the details already released as too little to solve the mysteries of the flight’s final moments, but enough to rule out choppy air as a likely cause.

“Airplanes operate in situations like that all the time,” says John Cox, an accident investigator and retired pilot.

Cox says investigators are probably focused on three events in the Boeing 767’s last minutes: an engine surge, a small drift up and the plummet toward Trinity Bay.

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