MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Interstate Aviation Committee on Friday published its first findings in the investigation into the FlyDubai passenger jet that crashed during a landing attempt in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don during foul weather conditions on March 19, killing all 62 people on board.
"The weather information examination has revealed that the actual weather at Rostov-on-Don Airport at the time of the accident was consistent with the weather forecast. The weather measuring equipment used for weather observations at Rostov-on-Don Airport was calibrated, operable and functional. The weather information service provided to the FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 registered A6-FDN conducting Flight FDB981 Dubai — Rostov-on-Don — Dubai that crashed while landing at Rostov-on-Don Airport was in compliance with the applicable regulations and manuals," the IAC report reads.
"A preliminary flight data analysis has revealed that the crew was approaching to land manually (autopilot disconnected) in difficult weather conditions (cloud base 630 meters, wind 230 degrees 13 meters per second maximum 18 meters per second, light shower rain, mist, severe turbulence on straight-on and moderate windshear). In the course of the initial approach at 22:42 UTC at a height of 340 meters, after getting a windshear (abrupt change in wind speed and direction) alert, the crew decided to go around and then continued on holding pattern waiting for improved weather conditions," the report said.
"At a height of 900 m there was a simultaneous control column nose down input and stabilizer 5-degree nose down deflection, resulting in abrupt descent with negative vertical acceleration of —1g. The following crew actions to recover did not allow to avoid an impact with the ground. The impact occurred with a speed of over 600 km/h over 50 degrees nose down," the report says.
The IAC said that airline pilots and test pilots from Russia, the United States and the United Arab Emirates were all involved in the investigations into the crash and also verified that the crew was in possession of valid licenses and had undergone training on the aircraft.
"Currently works are underway at the IAC facilities to reproduce the circumstances of the accident. Both airline pilots and test-pilots from the Russian Federation, the USA and the UAE have been engaged in the investigation to assess the status and actions of the crew. According to the available information the involved pilots were holding valid pilot licenses and other pertinent papers, had undergone required training and had sufficient flight experience," according to the report.
"Right now the transcript of two hours of cockpit voice recorder data is being completed. The investigative team is planning to engage investigators from the UAE, the USA and Spain to proceed at the IAC laboratory with clarifying the content of the CVR transcript, translating it from English and Spanish and identifying the speakers," the report added.
FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 crashed on landing at Rostov-on-Don airport in conditions of poor visibility on March 19, killing all 62 people on board, including 55 passengers and seven crew members. Pilot fatigue and lack of coordination have been suggested as possible causes of the accident.