MOSCOW, December 31 (Itar-Tass) – Saturday’s crash of a Tupolev-204 passenger jet at the Vnukovo airport in Moscow was not linked to the state of the runway, the International Aviation Committee /IAC/ of the Commonwealth of Independent State said Monday.
Saturday afternoon, a Tupolev-204 of the Red Wings charter carrier that was performing a technical return flight from the Czech Republic failed to brake upon landing, overran the runway, broke through the fencing around the airdrome territory, and dashed out on to a major automobile road linking Moscow and Ukraine.
The crash has claimed five lives to date while at another four people are taking intensive care at hospitals in a heavy condition.
The chairman of an IAC technical commission investigating the accident said that a visual inspection and cleaning of runway No. 1 with the aid of brush scrapers had been done 80 minutes before the accident or, to be more precise, at 15:10 Moscow Standard Time.
“Some 15 minutes after the accident, control gauging of the friction coefficient was done and the specialists found out it showed 0.63, which stands in line with requirements for the landings of jets like the Tupolev-204,” the IAC said.
“The gauging instruments had the required seals and had been tested on time,” it said.
The Tupolev-204 was piloted by an experienced crew, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters earlier. He also said that the friction coefficient exceeded 0.5 at the time of the jet’s landing and this fell within the brackets of the norm.
The reasons for which the jet overran the runway will be established by a governmental commission that includes experts from the Tupolev Design Bureau.