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Published On: Sat, Feb 17th, 2018

Pilot error and instrument failure may have caused crash of Russian An-148 passenger jet

nsnbc : Data retrieved from the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder of the ill-fated Anntonov An-148 airliner that crashed outside Moscow last week may have been caused by pilot error, instrument failure and subsequent chaos in the cockpit.

Saratov Airlines plane, archive  Courtesy Yury Smitiuk/TASS

Saratov Airlines plane, archive
Courtesy Yury Smitiuk/TASS

The pilot and co-pilot of the An-148 operated by Saratov Airlines on Flight 6W703 have received different speed readings from their instruments, leading to chaos in the cockpit and probably causing the crash of the airliner.

Tragedy struck when the An-148 plummeted out of the sky in the Moscow region some four minutes after departing from Domodedovo Airport on Sunday. Investigators have concluded that the plane broke up and exploded on impact, killing all 71 passenger and crew on board.

The Russian Kommersant business daily is citing an unnamed source, reportedly familiar with the CVR and FDR data that the pilots “inarticulate cries” and demeanor before the impact showed “the pilots didn’t understand why distorted speed readings showed up on the displays,” hampering efforts to bring the critical situation under control.

According to the data, so the source, the pilots had failed to turn on the heating of the An-148 aircraft’s pressure measurement equipment before takeoff, despite the procedure being listed on a preflight checklist.

The pilots reportedly got into an argument about the data while trying to solve the problem, increasing the speed and tilting the plane to the ground preceding the crash.

Saratov Airlines flight 6W703_Moscow obl, Russia, Feb 11, 2018Earlier, Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) said that the pilots had failed to turn on the heating unit for the plane’s pressure measurement equipment, which displayed incorrect speed readings in cold weather. Russia’s Investigative Committee said Thursday that it would consider the black box data in its criminal investigation of the crash.

nsnbc international has not seen certified copies of the CVR and FDR data and encourages the investigating authorities to release certified copies of the data to independent media for verification. Black boxes haven’t been designed to keep the public in the dark.

CH/L – nsnbc 17.07.2018

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