MOSCOW, December 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company did not lose a single contract for the delivery of the medium-haul passenger airliners Sukhoi Superjet 100 over the crash of this airliner in Indonesia last May, First Vice-President for the development of certification of the closed joint stock company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Igor Vinogradov said on Tuesday.
He noted that according to the results of the expertise the whole Superjet avionics was in good order right up to the crash into the Salak Mount. Moreover, the Indonesian authorities validated the flight certificate for the Superjet airliner even before the publication of the report over the investigation, finding the airliner fit for flights.
“None of our potential buyers refused from a single contract not only in Indonesia, but also in Laos and Mexico. Not a single contract was abrogated,” Vinogradov said.
“Now we are absolutely convinced that the airliner is reliable, safe, and many more people will be flying onboard this airliner in the future,” he said in conclusion.
The Russian medium-haul passenger airliner Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashed during a demonstration flight in Indonesia on May 9. The airliner, which Sukhoi Civil Aircraft had designed and produced, crashed in the vertical rock of the Salak Mount in the western part of the Java Island. The airliner was carrying 45 people, including eight Russian citizens, 35 Indonesian citizens, a French citizen and a US citizen. All of them died in the air crash.
The detectives found that the airliner crashed due to the scope of errors and inaccuracies in different issues, including the actions of the pilots.
“The crew of the airliner did not take into account the rocky terrain on the flight route that was caused by different factors. The crew ignored the TAWS warnings (TAWS – the terrain awareness and warning system),” Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Yuri Slyusar said. “The attention of the pilot was distracted by long conversations not related with the flight,” he noted. The Superjet commander mainly had conversations with a representative of the purchasing company that was in the cockpit, the Russian deputy minister said. “This (distracting conversations) caused the fact that the pilot did not change immediately the flight direction, when the airliner deviated from the set trajectory during a turning manoeuvre,” Slyusar explained.
Meanwhile, the radars in Jakarta did not set the minimal altitude for the airplane, and the radars lacked the sound warning system about the minimal safe altitude, which is needed for the flights near the Salak Mount. The TAWS system gave the sound signal in the cockpit (Terrain ahead, pull up) 38 seconds before the crash, then the warning to avoid the ground was given six times, the joint press release also reported. “The Superjet commander switched off the TAWS system, because he assumed that these warnings were made over the problems in the database,” the deputy minister noted.
Seven seconds before the crash into the mount the Superjet warning system gave the sound signal that the landing gear was not extended. This warning is given when the airliner is flying at an altitude of less than 800 foots above the ground without the landing gear extended.
At the same time the Indonesian aviation authorities acknowledged the shortcomings in the air traffic in the country that also caused the Superjet crash, said Director General of the Gromov Flight Research Institute Pavel Vlasov, who is a member of the group of Russian observers.
“Indonesia stated frankly that the questions to the control over the air traffic are quite serious,” he noted.
For instance, an air traffic controller believes that the flight was made to the training base Bogor, whereas the pilots believed that the flight was coordinated on another route, where they made the first demonstration flight onboard the same airliner before. Meanwhile, “the air traffic controller was convinced that an Indonesian fighter Su-30 was on the flight,” Vlasov said.
Vlasov also noted that the maps, which the pilots had at their disposal, did not contain the information about the mountains in the flight zone.
As for the pilots, Vlasov noted that “no evidence was found over any changes in the arrangements for their time for rest and no traces of alcoholic intoxication were found in them.” “The crew have worked in the routine mode for the last 48 hours,” he underlined.