SSJ-100 airplane crash: preliminary investigation data processed
The first conclusions by the Investigative Committee - 2 VIDEO
The Federal Investigative Committee, established by Russian Prime Minister Medvedev shortly after Aeroflot's SSJ-100 accident at Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport on May 5, processed preliminary inquiry data. The Russian press talks about it today citing sources close to the investigation.
Confirmed that fifteen minutes after take-off lightning struck the nose of the aircraft. This meant that the power generators were automatically disconnected, so the aircraft switched to battery power and direct flight control. As indicated in the operating manual of the aircraft, "Lenta.ru", the on-line Moscow newspaper writes it quoting "Kommersant", such a situation does not require an immediate landing or the launch of an SOS, since the aircraft can fly for a sufficient time and pilots land safely on the nearest runway. The aircraft then reversed its route to return to the departure airport.
The data of the two black boxes confirm that the pilots managed to carry out the approach maneuver on the second attempt, after maintaining the required speed, but passing the landing point on the runway. So, having not yet touched the wheels, the crew started to aim the SSJ-100 towards the ground.
Before landing, therefore, the pilots gave the engine and lowered aircraft nose. Experts believe this particular maneuver led to disaster. As a result the front landing gear has collapsed causing a series of rebounds off the runway. The rear landing gear was pushed against the tanks causing them to break and the resulting kerosene to burst.
According to the Russian press, investigators believe that another mistake was to insist on the second landing attempt: after the first rebound on the runway it would have been appropriate to interrupt the maneuver for an emergency take-off.
We recall that this was the crucial phase as can be seen from the videos, when after the rebounds the SSJ-100 in its path on the runway of the Sheremetyevo airport, left behind a wake of fire while the rear of the fuselage was wrapped by the flames. Moreover in the immediacy those films also triggered a series of questions about the readiness of the aid, tragically missed. The pilots of the aircraft had asked to land again in emergency with wide advance, and they had besides failed a first attempt of landing: therefore there was all the time to redirect fire-fighting and medical aid to the edge of the asphalt strip. But the videos show a flaming aircraft standing on the runway, whose passengers in complete autonomy disembark from the slides and walk away from the plane wrapped in a thick cloud of smoke. Nothing there to help them.
The aircraft operated by the national company Aeroflot had taken off from Moscow to Murmansk with 78 people on board, including 5 crewmembers. 41 died (including a flight attendant).
Below, a video highlights the lack of relief; the other one the dramatic rush of the emergency landing on the Moscow airport runway:
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