Aeroflot plane crash-lands at Moscow airport - 41 Dead | World Defense

Aeroflot plane crash-lands at Moscow airport - 41 Dead

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Burning Russian plane crash-lands at Moscow airport; at least 13 dead
By Allen Cone
May 5, 2019

A Sukhoi Superjet 100, operated by Aeroflot, burns at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday. Photo by Russian Investigative Committee/EPA

May 5 (UPI) -- A burning Aeroflot plane crash-landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday, killing at least 13 people, including two children, and injuring at least six others, the Russian state news agency Tass reported.

The twin-engine plane, operated by Russia's Aeroflot, carried 73 passengers and five crew members, according to Tass. Also, "a number of passengers are missing," Tass reported.

The Russian-built Sukhoi Superjet-100, bound for Murmansky in northwestern Russia, declared an emergency shortly after takeoff around 6 p.m. and returned to the airport after 27 minutes in the air, RT reported. It landed on a second attempt.

A crew member confirmed the plane was struck was by lightning.

Several dozen ambulances were dispatched to the scene as the plane remained on the runway. A dense cloud of black smoke poured out of the plane, including from the engines.

The fire was extinguished, with the tail completely consumed by the blaze and much of the rear fuselage burned down to its metal skeleton.

The airport was closed briefly, forcing all inbound flights into holding patterns, International Flight Network reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an investigation of the crash.

"All instructions have been given to conduct the most thorough investigation, the necessary instructions to find out the cause of this accident," press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Tass.

The victims and relatives of the dead passengers will be reimbursed $31,000 by insurance companies, the press service of the All-Russian Insurers Union reported.

The plane went into service last year, and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, the manufacturer, reported it underwent scheduled maintenance in April.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 first entered commercial service in 2011, according to IFN.

Aeroflot operates 50 Sukhoi Superjets, with 100 more on order.

The SSJ100 model has been involved in one fatal crash, according to TASS. On May 9, 2012, a pre-production version of the jet, owned by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, crashed. All 45 people aboard were killed and pilot error was determined the case of the crash.

The worst plane crash in Russian aviation history was in 2015 when a Kogalymavia Airbus A321 passenger airliner, with 217 passengers and seven crew members on board, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt en route from the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. There were no survivors.

The worst crash in Russia was in 2001 in Irkutsk when a Russian Tupolev-154 crashed on its third approach to the runway for a refueling stop, killing all 145 people.


 

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Moscow airport plane fire: At least 41 people killed in Aeroflot crash landing
By Euan McKirdy, Theresa Waldrop and Darya Tarasova, CNN
May 6, 2019


Moscow airport plane fire: At least 41 people killed in Aeroflot crash landing

(CNN)At least 41 people on board a Russian passenger jet were killed, including two children, after the aircraft crash-landed at a Moscow airport on Sunday, bursting into flames on impact.

Aeroflot flight SU 1492 skidded down the runway at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, its rear section ablaze and spilling thick, black smoke.

Once the plane had come to a halt, passengers escaped using emergency slides from the plane's two forward doors, before running away from the burning aircraft.

Initial reports said the Superjet 100 was flying from Moscow to Murmansk, a Russian city in the Arctic circle, when an emergency on board forced it to turn back.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported that a "loss of communication" caused by a "lightning strike" had led to the decision to return to Sheremetyevo. No official cause has yet been provided for the disaster.

Data from flight tracker Flightradar24 shows the plane took off just after 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) and was in the air for just under 30 minutes, before making a loop in the skies north of Moscow and heading back to the airport.
Shocking video of the incident showed the plane approach the runway at speed before hitting the ground, causing it to launch back in the air before hitting the runway again and bursting into flames.
Жёсткая посадкаSSJ-100 pic.twitter.com/OIJ1OldW9h
— Коммерсантъ FM 93,6 (@KFM936) May 5, 2019
A total of 78 people were aboard the stricken flight, including five crew members. Thirty-seven people survived, five of whom are currently receiving treatment in hospital, said Elena Markovskaya, a spokeswoman for Russia's Investigative Committee, a top law-enforcement agency.

An American citizen was killed in the crash, Interfax reported.

A passenger in a plane waiting to depart Moscow posted video on Instagram purportedly showing fire crews attending the scene as the aircraft sat in flames on the runway.

Russian airline Aeroflot published an "incomplete" list of 33 survivors, including the names of the five passengers hospitalized. In a series of short statements on its website, it said the aircraft was evacuated in 55 seconds, compared with the "industry norm" of 90 seconds.

The flight crew "did everything in its power to save passenger lives and provide emergency assistance to those involved," another short release said. "Tragically, they were unable to save all of those aboard."

The captain was the last to leave the burning aircraft, the airline added, and offered its condolences to the passengers and their families. It announced that it would fly relatives of those affected to Moscow without charge.

Russian-made jet
Sukhoi manufactures military aircraft and is known especially for its fighter jets. Its civilian aircraft, the Sukhoi Superjet 100, is the first post-Soviet commercial airliner to have been designed and built in Russia.

The Superjet is a relatively new aircraft, making its maiden flight in 2008 before entering service in mid-2011. More than 100 planes are in operation around the world, according to the company.

The narrow-bodied, dual-class cabin aircraft can transport 100 passengers over regional routes and is "a fusion of Russia's famed aviation design and production skills with the latest systems from leading aerospace suppliers around the world," the aircraft's brochure says.

In 2012 a demonstration flight over Indonesia crashed in a remote, mountainous part of the country.

Earlier that year, a Superjet 100 operated by Aeroflot was forced to abandon its flight to Astrakhan, Russia and return to Moscow because of problems with the undercarriage, according to RIA Novosti.

A similar defect in another Aeroflot-operated Superjet 100 had to be fixed in Minsk the previous year.

The model achieved the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Type Certificate in 2012, and also holds safety certificates from a number of other aviation authorities.

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday that it does not plan to suspend the operation of Sukhoi Superjet aircraft, state news agency TASS reported.

Investigation ordered
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a "thorough investigation" into the fiery emergency landing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.

"All instructions have been given to conduct the most thorough investigation, (to carry out) the necessary orders to find out the cause of this accident," said Peskov, according to TASS.

He added that Putin "extends his deep condolences to those who lost their near and dear in this incident."

The Investigative Committee said in a statement Monday that it was examining "various versions" that might have caused the crash landing, including the qualifications of the pilots, air-traffic controllers and maintenance personnel, aircraft malfunction and adverse weather conditions.
The committee routinely conducts investigations into major incidents with loss of life.

CNN's Gena Somra, Jonny Hallam, Nathan Hodge, Darran Simon and Leona Siaw contributed to this report.



 

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Black boxes recovered from Russian Aeroflot crash that killed 41
By
Nicholas Sakelaris
MAY 6, 2019

The Russian Aeroflot plane caught fire after bouncing on the runway at Moscow's airport Sunday. Investigators recovered the black boxes from the crash site. Photo courtesy of Russian Investigative Committee/EPA-EFE

May 6 (UPI) -- The black box flight recorders have been recovered from the Aeroflot plane crash site at the Moscow airport where at least 41 people died, Russian officials said Monday.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 bounced on the runway and the rear of the plane burst into flames as it made an emergency landing Sunday night. Two children were among those killed.

Another 33 passengers and four crew members escaped the plane using slides. Five people were taken to the hospital.
An American citizen was among those killed, the U.S. State Department confirmed.

No official cause for the crash had been determined, but the Russian Interfax news agency reported a "loss of communication" caused by a lightning strike. The plane was flying from Moscow to Murmansk.

Aeroflot published a statement saying the crew "did everything in its power to save passenger lives and provide emergency assistance to those involved. Tragically, they were unable to save all of those aboard."

The captain was the last to exit the aircraft. The airline offered its condolences and offered to fly relatives of the victims to Moscow at no charge.

Survivor Pyotr Egorov backed up the lightning strike claim.
"We were so scared, we almost lost consciousness," Egorov told Komsomolskaya Pravda daily. "The plane jumped down the landing strip like a grasshopper and then caught fire on the ground."

Video showed passengers jumping from the wreckage to an inflatable slide with people clinging to their luggage as emergency vehicles raced toward the crash site.

Russian news reports have stated the plane was serviced as recently as last month.
The pilot had 1,400 hours of experience flying the two-engine Sukhoi Superjet.

 

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Aeroflot plane was heavy with extra fuel before deadly crash landing
07 May 2019
AP

  • Dumping fuel is common for flights that have to land soon after takeoff to prevent being overly heavy
  • The pilot earlier said the plane had lost radio communications because of a lightning strike
MOSCOW: A Russian airliner that took off from Moscow was airborne for just 28 minutes before returning to make an emergency landing while still heavy with unburned fuel, which then ignited after a rough touchdown.

Flames quickly engulfed the aircraft, killing 41 of the 78 people aboard.

A day after Sunday’s horrifying accident at Sheremetyevo airport, Russian news media quoted the pilot, Denis Evdokimov, as saying he followed procedures for landing with excess weight. But the crew reportedly did not dump any fuel, which is common for flights that have to land soon after takeoff to prevent being overly heavy.

The pilot said he was not certain why the plane landed hard. Video showed flames bursting from the jet’s underside as it touched down, then raging across the rear of the Sukhoi SSJ100’s fuselage within seconds as the airliner bounced down the runway.

“Everything happened right away, at lightning speed. There was a strong blow — my eyes almost popped out — a second was a little quieter, a third, and then smoke, and it started to burn immediately,” survivor Marina Sitnikova was quoted as telling the magazine Snob.

When the plane came to a halt, some of the people aboard plunged down inflatable slides deployed from the forward part of the plane.

Some of those who escaped were carrying luggage, raising concerns that grabbing their bags may have delayed an evacuation in which every second was critical.

“I do not know what to say about people who ran out with bags. God is their judge,” survivor Mikhail Savchenko wrote on Facebook.
Evdokimov said the plane had lost radio communications because of a lightning strike, but it was not clear if that precipitated the emergency landing.

A flight attendant said there was a sharp flash soon after the Aeroflot flight took off, bound for the northern city of Murmansk.

“We took off, got into a cloud, there was strong hail, and at that moment there was a pop and some kind of flash, like electricity,” flight attendant Tatiana Kasatnika said in a video posted on YouTube.

Russia’s main investigative agency said both of the plane’s flight recorders — data and voice — were recovered from the charred wreckage. Agency spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko was also quoted by Russian news agencies on Monday as saying that investigators were looking into three main possibilities behind the cause of the disaster: inexperienced pilots, equipment failure and bad weather.

Storms were passing through the Moscow area when the plane landed.

One survivor praised the plane’s attendants for helping save him and others.

“It was dark and there was gas, very high temperature. They helped people out of there, helped them to descend,” Dmity Khlebnikov said, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The SSJ100, also known as the Superjet, was heralded when it went into service in 2011 as a new phase for Russia’s civil aviation industry. It was introduced as a replacement for outdated Soviet-designed aircraft.

But the plane has been troubled by concerns about defects in the horizontal stabilizers. Russia’s aviation authority in 2017 ordered inspection of all Superjets in the country because of the problems. A Mexican airline, Interjet, grounded Superjets in December 2016 and later said it was phasing them out of the fleet.

Transportation Minister Yevegny Dietrich said Monday that it was too early to decide whether to ground the planes in Russia, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the decision was not within President Vladimir Putin’s power.

One of the dead was flight attendant Maxim Moiseev, Dietrich said. Russian news reports, citing unnamed sources, said the Moiseev was in the fire-stricken back part of the plane and tried unsuccessfully to deploy an evacuation slide. The dead passengers included a recent college graduate from Santa Fe, New Mexico, was on his way to serve as a fishing guide in northwest Russia.

 

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‘Plane was burning like PLASTIC CUP’: Russian jet crash survivor recalls harrowing escape from fire
Published time: 7 May, 2019

‘Plane was burning like PLASTIC CUP’: Russian jet crash survivor recalls harrowing escape from fire

©Investigative Committee via Sputnik

A passenger from Aeroflot Flight SU1492, who is considered the last person to escape from the flame-engulfed plane, says the jet turned into a death trap within seconds, leaving little chance of survival for people at the back.

Oleg Molchanov is one of the 37 survivors of the deadly crash-landing and fire at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday, in which 41 people were killed. He is also one of the few who agreed to share his harrowing experience with the media. The 35-year-old resident from Murmansk, who was returning home from vacation, told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper that the plane was hit by lightning which forced the pilot to make an emergency landing.

“Most of the passengers remained in their seats, as my wife and I did. The plane was burning like a plastic cup; the window in my row melted away in seconds. Just after the airliner stopped, I pushed my wife towards the exit. She was one of the first to go down the evacuation slide,” he said.

According to preliminary results of a probe into the causes of the disaster, the plane’s ultimate demise was caused by fuel spilling out after the aircraft hit the tarmac. It then caught fire due to malfunctioning engines. Molchanov says the smoke and confusion may have caused some passengers to run toward the back of the plane rather than the front even though the fire made it impossible to escape there.



“There was smoke and fire in the tail section. Rear slides most likely never deployed, but passengers from the rear must have instinctively run towards the tail,” he said.
But even if the slides did unfold, I doubt they had any chance to survive because by the time the plane stopped the rear was all in black smoke. It was hell-fire there
Molchanov says he had to crawl towards the exit to avoid fainting from toxic smoke. Once near the door, he stayed to assist a flight attendant who was helping other passengers to reach the slide, he said.


“We carried three people out, two men and a woman. After we dragged out the third one, Sergey, the flames roar and it was clear staying there was dangerous,” he said, adding that apparently he was the last person to leave the aircraft alive.

READMORE: ‘I grabbed passengers by the collar and kicked them out’: Stewardess recalls evacuation horror

He said he didn’t believe rescue crews at the airport were late to arrive at the scene – which was one of the popular theories about why so many people died in the crash.

“Everything was fine with it. Somebody even offered a bottle of vodka to the passengers,” he said. “It was taken away quickly. One moment it was there and the next it wasn’t.”

He also dismissed another rumor, which claimed passengers from the business class were trying to save their luggage and prevented their less-wealthy counterparts in the back of the plane from getting to the exit in time.

The surviving couple were flown to their home city of Murmansk on Monday morning, Molchanov said.

 

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Russian airline refuses to buy new Superjet aircraft after the fatal crash in Moscow
May 7, 2019




Yamal Airlines, which already owns 15 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, decided not to purchase another 10 aircraft identical to the plane that carried 41 people in Moscow on May 5, reports Radіo Liberty.

Russian news agencies quote Yamal Airlines General Director, Vasiliy Kryuk, explaining that they made this decision because of economic reasons.

At the same time, until the end of the investigation into the aircraft crash at Sheremetyevo Airport, Yamal is planning to continue operating the existing Superjet aircraft.

Yamal has the second largest Superjet fleet in Russia after the Aeroflot, which has 50 SSJ 100 aircraft.

Several foreign companies that purchased aircraft series SSJ 100 started to abandon their operation at the end of 2018. The Mexican company Interjet, which purchased 22 such airliners in Russia completely refused to use them. The Belgian airline Brussels Airlines and the Irish CityJet made the same decision.

On the evening of May 5, the Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet-100 (SSJ-100) plane flew from Moscow to Murmansk carrying onboard 78 people. Almost immediately after takeoff, the crew requested an emergency landing and lost radio contact.

The plane had a hard landing hitting the runway surface several times, damaged the landing gear and caught fire. 41 persons died in the fire at the tail of the aircraft as a result of the tragedy.

The Authorities of the Murmansk region in Russia declared a three-day mourning.

The cause of the disaster is still unknown. Russian authorities assumed that the plane could have been damaged by lightning, as a result of which “automatic equipment failed”.


 
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