Aviation

Moscow plane crash: flight recorder recovered, reports emerge of super-jet’s troubled history

The flight recorders from Russian Aeroflot flight SU1492 have been recovered, after the tragic fire from its emergency landing in Moscow resulted in the deaths of 41 people.

The main investigative body of Russia announced yesterday that both flight recorders from flight SU1492 have been recovered, beginning investigations into the causes of the disaster that resulted in the deaths of 41 passengers, including two children.

“Investigators have obtained the voice and parametric flight recorders, and collected fuel samples … and recordings from surveillance cameras,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.

The Investigative Committee said investigators were looking into inexperienced pilots, equipment failure and bad weather as possible causes of the disaster.

Passengers on board flight SU1492 have said that lightning struck the plane before the crash-landing.

The passenger plane, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 (pictured above) carrying 73 passengers and five crew members on board, was brought down in flames on the tarmac at Sheremetyevo International Airport after making a rough emergency landing in Moscow.

Once the jet came to a grinding halt, passengers led by crew then escaped via the plane’s emergency slides that inflated after the hard landing.

The Moscow Times reported the plane bounced off the runway four times during landing. After the fourth landing, the plane’s landing gear collapsed and the tail caught fire.

Airline carrier Aeroflot mourned the loss of life on its flight, including the tragic death of one of its flight attendants, Maksim Moiseev, who died saving passengers on board the flight.

Maxim Moiseev (centre) has been confirmed as the flight attendant that tragically lost his life on board SU
Maxim Moiseev (centre) has been confirmed as the flight attendant that tragically lost his life on board flight SU1492

The Interfax news agency said the evacuation of the plane was hindered by passengers stopping to collect their hand luggage while being evacuated from the jet. Video of passengers escaping from the plane show some holding their luggage.

Deutsche Welle spoke to Vadim Lukashevich, an independent aviation expert, who previously worked as an engineer at Sukhoi – the Russian aircraft manufacturer of the Superjet 100.

Lukashevich has gone on record stating that there have been safety concerns raised about this type of aircraft.

“I wouldn’t fly on this type of airplane,” Lukashevich told DW.

Lukashevich continued by claiming that ever since international sanctions were implemented against Russia in 2014, it has become difficult to obtain parts for the planes.

He added that if there is an accident with a plane in military aviation, that plane model is immediately grounded, but the same cannot be said for passenger planes.

“In civilian aviation, we don’t do that because there are the airlines to think about – the profits. There are commercial interests at play, and that means we don’t stop using the planes,” Lukashevich told DW.

“I think that there can never be enough security measures in civilian aviation.”

The aircraft involved in the incident had been in service since 2017 and was last inspected in April, state news agency TASS reported, citing aviation authorities.

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed their condolences and ordered investigators to establish what had happened, with a commission chaired by Transport Minister Evgeny Ditrich established to investigate the incident.

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