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MOSCOW, June 22 (Itar-Tass) - Head of the Unified Aircraft Building Corporation Mikhail Pogosyan has made public the results of a preliminary stage of the investigation into the crash of the Russian airliner Sukhoi SuperJet-100 during a demonstration flight in Indonesia. Pogosyan noted that the SuperJet-100 avionics did not fail. Some 45 people, including eight Russians, were killed in the crash of the airliner on May 9. The debris of the airliner was found on May 10 on the vertical slope of the Salak Mount, about 64 kilometres south of the Indonesian capital.
A source familiarized with the situation explained to the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily that the so-called controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) occurred. According to the terminology of the International Civil Aviation Organization, this term means air accidents, in which the aircraft crashed onto the ground, water or other unmoving obstacles, being under full control of the crew.
CFIT is considered as the most frequent air accident, which entails the death of people. The main causes behind CFIT are mistakes of the pilots, bad weather, problems with navigational equipment as well as miscalculations of the flight controllers, the source explained. Indonesia should state what set of these facts led to the air crash on the results of the investigation.
The Unified Aircraft Building Corporation said earlier to the newspaper that the crew, which piloted the airliner by means of the control panel without any visual control, could be confused over a real terrain, where the airliner was flying. According to preliminary reports, the pilots were confident that after the lowering from 10,000 to 6,000 foots approved by the Indonesian air controller they were already flying over the rice field at a safe altitude. Probably, this is why they did not react to alarming sound and visual signals, which the crash early warning system gave, and did not change the flight level. Meanwhile, according to preliminary reports, for a short period of time, which preceded the crash into the Salak Mount, the crew got the signal from another onboard system that the airliner is flying low and the undercarriage should be urgently used.
The Indonesian edition Tempo has conducted its own investigation and concluded that the Indonesian air controller may be blamed for the tragedy, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported. The air controller, which was controlling several flights simultaneously, was very busy and neglected a request from SSJ-100 commander Alexander Yablontsev for a lower altitude, when the latter asked for a permit to fly between the peaks of the Salak Mount, the edition reported. The magazine also quoted the last words of the crew commander just a second before a crash, “For God sake, what is it!?” the pilot exclaimed with horror. According to the decoded flight recorders, this tragedy occurred shortly after another request to the flight controller, when an approaching mount slope apparently appeared from the clouds.
The examination over the traces after the tragedy showed that the experienced pilot was attempting to save the airliner, lifting it sharply upwards, but he did not have enough time for this manoeuvre.