Crash killing Mexico's No. 2 could be pilot error

By the Associated Press | November 16, 2011 | 8:20 PM EST

CHALCO, Mexico (AP) — The lead investigator in the helicopter crash that killed Mexican Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora and seven others says it could have been caused by pilot error or instrument failure.

General director of airports and auxiliary services Gilberto Lopez Meyer says officials are just beginning to analyze the instruments and evidence collected from the crash site south of Mexico City by a team including U.S. and French investigators.

Lopez says the helicopter was traveling at normal cruising speed of up to 155 mph (250 kph) and operating normally when it clipped a tree and slammed into a hillside meadow Friday.

Director of Navigation and Air Space Rodolfo Olivares Castro says the aircraft was flying in near zero visibility because of fog.

(This version CORRECTS title of lead investigator.)