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Mexicans set airplane fire investigation

Video der Restaurierung eines Motors vom Typ Pratt&Whitney 



Miami Daily News, Friday 27 March 1936
page 7

MEXICANS SET AIRPLANE FIRE INVESTIGATION

Witnesses Say Transport Plane Flamed Before Crash Occurred

Mexico City, March 27 ... of eye-wittnesses ...that an explosion preceeded the crash of a trimotored airplane between the volcanoes Popocatepetl and Ixtacihuattl lead the government today to order  an official investigation into the disaster that killed 10 Europeans tourists and the crew of four.

"The plane was flying low through the pass", said one witness, "and it circled low over the town of Amecameca, as though the pilot was looking for a place to land or intended to return to the Mexico City airport.

"Suddenly smoke burst out of the plane, and it plunged in flames on the mountainside.

Adolf, prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, head of the former reigning house of that German principality and Princess Elisabeth, his wife, were among the victims.

Eye-Wittnesses Tell About Planes Fall

Mexico City March 27

Six women and eight men, ranging in rank from members of European nobility to a Costa Rican steward boy, qwew brought back dead to this capital today, 
...were brought dead to this capital today, victims of an air disaster which halted a carefree trip to Central America.

Authorities said the bodies, toon badly crushed and burned to permit certain identificationes, would be cremated after brief services.

This 14 persons, 10 European tourists and four members of the crew of a tri-motored plane they chartered for a flight through Guatemala and central America, died yesterday when the grat ship crushed near Amecameca while attempting to pass between Mount Popocatepetl and Mount Ixtacchihuatl, lowering snow.covered volcanic peaks 30 miles from the capital.

Pan American Airways officials ordered a technical investigation into the worst disaster in the history of Mexican aviation, but expressed doubts that the cause ever could be determined definitively because of the conditions of the wreckage. 

The wireless operator of another Pan American plane, which was 
told ,,, the passengers were very happy and were remarking on the beautiful views of the volcanoes" the operator of the other plane said

"He himself was happy over the trip to Central America and said he was looking forward to a good time,

"The last message he send was "was passing  over Amecameca: then suddenly he went off the air."

The victims of the crash, the first major accident of Mexican Aviation were:

Adolf, prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, head of the former reigning house of that German principality and Princess Elisabeth, his wife, were among the victims.
Baron Dr. Elemer von Ronczy of Budapest, Hungary
Miss Victoria Thein of Bremen
Miss Marie Margarethe Harder of Hamburg, Germany
Miss Elisabeth Schroer of Dortmund, germany
Miss Liesbet Pust of Zullehorn, Germany
Adolf Franz Igler of Vienna , Austria
Crew
Adrian Borchers, technical advisor for Pan American Airways who had been loaned to the Compañia Mexicana de Aviacion, a subsidiary of Pan American Airways, which owned the plane, Borchers came from Philadelphia.
J. Preciado Acosta, pilot of Mexico City
Adolfo Limón, radio operator, Mexico City
Daniel Madrigal, steward of San Jose, Costa Rica


Alle except Igler died instantly in the crash or were trapped and burned to death.

The Austrian tourist, still conscious had burned badly and groaning with pain, was pulled from the wreckage, by a shepherd Leonardo Cordoba, who was the first to reach the scene.
"The man was gripping his stomach and moaning terribly" Cordoba said. "He muttered a few words in a language I did not understand and then died within a few minutes".

Other peasants arrived soon afterward and aided Cordoba in preventing the flames ........ through the woods, but they were unable to remove any more bodies , until the wreck had been burnt into twisted melted metal.

Only parts of the wings, which had been torn from the fuselage and part of the tail of the plane remained intact.

Shrunken by the terrific heat, the bodies were found in grotesque  positions. Some of the passengers had covered their eyes with their hands, as if to prevent their faces  from being disfigured. Others had their legs crushed  and were stretched out, as though unaware of the approaching crash.

Although the no official statements were issued, two possible theories were advanced unofficially to account for the disaster.

One that the pilot approaching the pass between the volcanoes, found that he needed more altitude to go over the 15000 feet ridge between the mountains and turned  so sharply that the plane plunged to the ground.

The other was that the plane encountered under trouble, and that the pilot was attempting a forced landing on the rocky  saddle between the mountains.

The later theory was supported by the faxt that the wireless antena usually let down while the plane is in flights lightly ....against the bottom of the ship.

The crash occurred at the edge of a clearing which offered the only possible landing place for miles around. The plane circled twice over Amecameca before heading for the pass between the volcanoes where it met disaster.

The passengers who chartered the plane from the Compañía Mexicana arrived at Vera Cruz March, 20 on board the Iberia of The Hamburg-American line and left Mexico City yesterday for Guatemala. They crash d less than 20 minutes later.


... The last message he sent was passing over Amecameca: then suddenly he went off the air."

Authorities said the bodies, toon badly crushed and burned to permit certain identificationes, would be cremated after brief services.

This 14 persons, 10 European tourists and four members of the crew of a tri-motored plane they chartered for a flight through Guatemala and Central America, died yesterday when the grat ship crushed near Amecameca while attempting to pass between Mount Popocatepetl and Mount Ixtacchihuatl.


Alle except Igler died instantly in the crash or were trapped and burned to death.
The Austrian tourist, still conscious had burned badly and groaning with pain, was pulled from the wreckage, by a shepherd Leonardo Cordoba, who was the first to reach the scene.
"The man was gripping his stomach and moaning terribly" Cordoba said. "He muttered a few words in a language I did not understand and then died within a few minutes".







Seite 259 des Buches Vier Prinzen zu Schaumburg Lippe 2006:

Kzl. Nr. 217
“Deutsche Gesandtschaft Legación de Alemania México D.F.
México D.F., den 6 April 1936
II D 1


Im Anschluss an Telegramm Nr. 8 vom 27 März 1936

Auswärtig Berlin.
Stempel Auswärtiges Amt III A 1200 Eing. 30 April 1936
7 Anl. ( fach) 2 dopp. d. Eing.

2 Durchschläge Anlagen

Durch das Flugzeugunglück am 26. März sind zehn Passagiere, darunter acht Reichsdeutsche, ums Leben gekommen. Es handelt sich um die folgenden Personen:
Fräulein Marie Margarethe Harder, Fräulein Liesbeth Pust,
Fürst Adolf zu Schaumburg-Lippe, Fürstin Elisabeth zu Schaumburg-Lippe, Fräulein Elisabeth Schroer,

Freiherr Hans Siegmund von Stieber, Frau Dora Thein, FräuleinViktoriaThein,
Ausserdem der österreichische Bundesbürger Franz Adolf von Igler,
Und der ungarische Staatsangehörige
Elemér von Rohonczy.
Die Verunglückten waren Mitglieder einer Reisegesellschaft, die durch Vermittelung der Hapag eine Reise nach Mexiko und Mittelamerika unternahm. Sie waren auf
26. Zurück nach Méxiko 259
dem M.S. “Iberia” von Hamburg hierhergekommen und wollten im Flugzeug die Reise nach Guatemala fortsetzen. Das Flugzeug ist um 11.30 Uhr bei klarer Sicht im Gebiete der Vulkane Popocatepetl und I
Ixtaccihuatl auf etwa 4000 m Höhe in der Nähe des Baumgrenze abgestürzt....
An das Auswärtige Amt, Berlin
....und völlig verbrannt. Die Leichen der Verunglückten waren durch das Feuer sehr stark verkohlt, liessen sich aber alle identifizieren. Es ist anzunehmen, dass die Mehrzahl sofort tot war, während Herr von Igler schwer verletzt aus dem brennenden Flugzeug herausgezogen wurde und erst eine Viertelstunde später im Beisein von indianischen Hirten verstarb. Die Ursache des Unglücks hat sich nicht restlos klären lassen, und es erübrigt sich, die verschiedenen Hypothesen, die hierüber von allen interessierten Kreisen angestellt wurden, zu erwähnen*.
*(Welche Hypothesen ? Warum sollen sie weder erwähnt noch angedacht werden ?, der Verf.)

Zeugenaussagen sind keine Hypothesen. 
Die von Pan Am und die mexikanische Regierung vor Ort angeordneten Untersuchungen  sind auch keine Hypothesen.
Schon gar nicht, wenn Zeugen vor Ort erklären, dass es vor dem Absturz zu einer Explosion, btw. Feuerentwicklung kam.

ergänzend

Diario Ahora Madrid vom 28 März 1936


D E T A L L E S D E L A C A T A S ­ T R O F E D E A V I A C IO N DE M EJ IC O 

La identificación de los cadáveres ofrece grandes dificultades por h a b e r quedado total- mente carbonizados 

A M E C A M E C A (Méjico), 27.—Se confirma que el príncipe Adolf y la princesa Isabel Schaumburg Lippe y el barón von Stieger, cinco alemanes más, un austríaco, un húngaro, todos turistas, y un piloto mejicano, un segundo piloto norteamericano y un mayordomo portorriqueño resultaron muertos instantáneamente en la catástrofe aérea ocurrida entre los volccanes Popocatepetl e Ixaocuhuatl, cuando se dirigían hacia Guatemala. 

Todos los cadáveres, excepto uno, están tan carbonizados por las llamas de la gasolina, que las autoridades han tenido que utilizar palas para recogerlos, a pesar de que los doctores y ayudantes de la ambulancia echaron arena encima de los cuerpos para procurar apagar el fuego. Las catorce personas que estaban a bordo del aparato han perecido. Los turistas habían visitado los jardines flotantes de Xoshimilko, las prehistóricas pirámides de San Juan y otros lugares interesantes de Cuernavaca, Tabasco, etc, antes de emprender el fatal viaje. El aparato siniestrado llevaba sólo la mitad de los turistas que llegaron a Vera Cruz a bordo del vapor “Iberia”; la otra mitad había fijado para hoy su salida con rumbo a Guatemala. El avión salió del aeropuerto de Méjico a las diez treinta y tres minutos. A las diez y cuarenta y a las once se dieron noticias de que todo estaba bien y la temperatura excelente. El aparato pertenecía a la Compañía mejicana de aviación, subsidiarla de la Panamerican Airways. 

A la una de la tarde, extrañados de la falta de noticias, la Compañía envió un avión Douglas para explorar la región, y éste volvió sin haber encontrado nada. Otro avión, que salló alrededor de las dos de la tarde, localizó el siniestro a cinco kilómetros aproximadamente de Amecameca. Las causas del accidente permanecen ocultas. El piloto y su ayudante eran los mejores del servicio aéreo mejicano, habiendo recorrido en avión cerca de ocho millones de kilómetros sin un solo accidente, desde el año 1929, y llevado a 81.817 pasajeros a buen puerto. 

La Identificación de loe cadáveres es dificilísima, posible solamente mediante el examen de las partes metálicas de la Indumentaria de las víctimas o aparatos dentales que no hayan sido derretidos gor las llamas. L a Panam erican Airways ha manifestado que Elm er von Rohonezy era húngaro y Adolf Franz Igler, austríaco. El piloto, Preciado Acosta, era anteriormente piloto militar, y los aviadores han manifestado el deseo de que sea enterrado con los honores militares. 

El secretario de Relaciones Exteriores mejicano ha expresado su pésame a la Legación alemana en Méjico. 

Los motores del avión han sido encontrados a diez metros más allá del fuselaje. 
Die Motoren befanden sich in 10 Metern Entfernung vom Rumpf.

El avión se estrelló por un sitie muy escarpado de la montaña, sobre una línea de árboles donde termina la carretera propia para coches que conduce a los volcanes, y donde empiezan los senderos agrestes.— United Press.

Das Flugzeug stürzte dort ab, wo die Strasse für Pkws endet (auf einer Linie Bäume) die zu den Vulkanen führt, dort wo die Wanderwege beginnen.

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