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Flight experts to simulate An-148’s takeoff to solve passenger plane’s crash

There were 65 passengers and six crew members onboard the passenger jet

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Test pilots from the Gromov Flight Research Institute in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow will conduct an experimental flight simulating the takeoff of the ill-fated An-148 in order to find out the causes of the crash, the Institute’s press office told TASS on Wednesday.

"As part of the probe, measures are in store to simulate the takeoff of the An-148 plane," the press office said.

The flight parameters will be identical to the readings of the crashed plane, and the pilots will test various elements with the switch-off of sensors, engines and other onboard systems, the press service said.

The Gromov Flight Research Institute did not specify when the experimental flight would be conducted, saying that the experiment might shed light on the causes of the airline tragedy. Pilots who have numerously tested and flown the An-148 and other aircraft will conduct the experimental flight.

Radio contact with the An-148 passenger plane belonging to Saratov Airlines (flight 703 from Moscow to Orsk, in the Orenburg Region) that took off from the Domodedovo airport at 14:24 Moscow time on Sunday dropped from radar screens four minutes after takeoff.

Fragments of the plane were found near the village of Stepanovskoye in the Moscow Region’s Ramensky district. There were 65 passengers and six crew members onboard the passenger jet. According to the latest data, no one survived.

A criminal case on charges of violations of flight safety and aircraft operation rules resulting in the death of two or more people through negligence has been opened.