Armenia's A-320 crash down to last-second crew panic - official

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Armenia's top civil aviation official said Friday that the May crash of an Armenian Airbus into the Black Sea had been largely because the crew panicked in the last few seconds of the flight.
YEREVAN, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Armenia's top civil aviation official said Friday that the May crash of an Armenian Airbus into the Black Sea had been largely because the crew panicked in the last few seconds of the flight.

"The A-320's flight modeling showed the flight was stable until 17 seconds before the crash," said Artem Movsisyan, head of the Civil Aviation Agency.

The jetliner, operated by Armenian carrier Armavia, crashed in the early hours of May 3 as it was preparing to land at the airport of Adler, off Russia's Black Sea coast. All 113 passengers and crew died.

Movsisyan's comments follow a report from the Interstate Aviation Committee into the cause of the crash. The report said human error was to blame for the accident.

Movsisyan did not reject this conclusion, but said stormy weather and inadequate ground control had to be factored in as well. He said flight recordings suggested that the air traffic controller's instructions had made the crew angry and nervous.

Along with Russian and Armenian aviation officials, the Interstate Aviation Committee includes representatives of Toulouse-headquartered Airbus, the manufacturer of the A-320.

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