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Unraveling the Mystery: The Intriguing Incident of Volaris Flight Y4-512

The aviation industry has seen its fair share of historical events, some of which reveal uncomfortable truths. However, after the recent incident involving a Volaris flight, questions abound while answers remain elusive. Volaris, known for its secrecy, makes it difficult to establish a clear position.

On May 12th, an Airbus A320 with registration N518VL, operating as Volaris Flight Y4-512 from Tijuana (TIJ) to Monterrey (MTY), suffered windshield and radome damage. The incident occurred during the descent for runway 29 (ILS) at Monterrey Airport when the crew encountered a severe storm and hail, as suggested by images and videos shared on social media.

The A320 entered a holding pattern near Monterrey Airport approximately two hours after takeoff. Later, it commenced its descent, deviating from the holding pattern after around 20 minutes, descending from an altitude of 33,000 feet to 16,000 feet, at which point it encountered the storm.

Communications between the crew and air traffic control revealed a certain level of nervousness in the cockpit. However, they were aware that diverting to an alternate airport was necessary due to the challenging conditions near Monterrey Airport.

What could have transpired in the cockpit? Given that the flight was at night, meteorological phenomena were difficult to observe without the cockpit lights fully illuminated. However, modern aircraft are equipped with weather radar that precisely alerts pilots to adverse weather conditions, enabling them to avoid them.

Only the pilots themselves know the decisions made during the flight and the condition of the aircraft. They directly entered the core of a storm, but did they have access to the necessary information? Was the weather radar functioning properly? Could it have been a lapse, negligence, or imprudence?

Internal investigations by Volaris and relevant authorities will shed light on the actions that led the Airbus A320 into the heart of the storm.

Some sources suggest that it may have been due to erroneous instructions from air traffic control. However, why would a pilot follow incorrect instructions? Ultimately, the captain makes the final decisions. Most pilots consulted by Transponder 1200 claimed ignorance, fearing potential job termination—a practice commonly associated with Volaris. However, maintenance personnel revealed that the Airbus A320 with registration N518VL showed no signs of radar malfunctions or reports of anomalies prior to the May 12th flight.

In the meantime, Volaris issued a statement regarding the VOI512 flight three days after the incident:

Volaris reports that on Friday, May 12th, Flight 512 traveling from Tijuana to Monterrey diverted to Francisco Sarabia International Airport (Torreón) due to adverse weather conditions in the capital of Nuevo León. These conditions caused damage to the windshield and fuselage paint. The crew promptly activated the corresponding procedures, ensuring a safe landing and safeguarding the well-being of all passengers on board.

According to data from Airfleets, Volaris acquired the Airbus A320 with registration N518VL in 2013. The aircraft made its inaugural flight with the test registration D-AXAB on February 15th of the same year. Shortly after, it flew from Europe to Mexico to join the airline's active fleet. It is configured with 174 seats in a single class and is equipped with two IAE V2527E-A5 engines.

It would be imprudent and unethical to blame the pilots until the full details of the case are known. However, one wonders why an aircraft would find itself in the midst of a storm. Could it be a malfunction of the radar systems?

Meanwhile, we eagerly await the investigations that will serve as a reference for what should not have happened. It is crucial that other flight crews take note of these cases to avoid making the same mistakes, emphasizing the mandatory role of human factors in aviation. It is our hope that Volaris can provide transparency regarding this incident to the aviation community, as speculations and comments from other pilots have tarnished the airline's reputation.

In conclusion, the incident involving Volaris Flight Y4-512 has raised numerous questions about the decision-making process and the functioning of critical systems in the cockpit. Only a thorough investigation will reveal the truth behind this perplexing event. As aviation professionals, it is our responsibility to learn from such incidents and strive for enhanced safety measures in the industry.

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