MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship air carrier, has refuted reports that the crew of Sukhoi Superjet 100 plane that crashed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in early May violated instructions while landing.
"The trailing edge flaps were in a position required for the landing procedure with the account of the system failure. More to it, in accordance with the procedure, the plane first goes into the reverse thrust and then extends a spoiler while running on the runway. It means that deployment of spoilers was impossible as the plane was not running stably along the runway. It is necessary to add that the certification requirements to the airworthiness are compiled in a way to prevent the worsening of the situation under any scenario," Aeroflot said in a press statement on Friday.
Russia’s air transport authority Rosaviatsiya said on Friday it had referred a letter to civil aviation organizations where it gave assessment of the SSJ-100 crew’s actions.
On May 5, an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger plane (flight SU1492) with 73 passengers and five crewmembers onboard that was bound for Murmansk returned to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo 30 minutes after the takeoff to catch fire while crash landing.
Forty-one people died, ten more were taken to hospital.
A criminal case was opened after the accident on charges of violating flight safety rules entailing the death of two or more people. Investigators are looking at several theories of the crash, including pilot’s insufficient skills, a technical malfunction and unfavorable weather conditions.
A source familiar with the situation told TASS the investigators suspected the pilots might have lacked the skill of Direct Mode landing they had to resort to after a lightning strike upset the automatic control systems.