Investigators say FlyDubai passenger jet crash caused by bad weather

Updated: 2016-04-08 20:57


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MOSCOW -- Pilots of the FlyDubai passenger jet crashed in southern Russia last month were unable to avoid the accident in difficult weather conditions, despite their high qualification, investigators said on Friday.

"According to the available information, the involved pilots were holding valid pilot licenses and other pertinent papers, and had undergone required training with sufficient flight experience," said the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), a civil aviation supervisory body for ex-Soviet states.

Flight 981 of the Dubai Aviation Corporation (FlyDubai) en route from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to southwestern Russia's Rostov-on-Don, crashed on March 19 when landing, killing all 62 people on board.

Preliminary flight data analysis revealed that the crew was approaching to land manually with disconnected autopilot in difficult weather conditions with low clouds, rain, mist, strong wind and severe turbulence.

After two landing attempts failed due to abrupt changes of wind direction and force, the pilots tried to climb again and set the engine to takeoff thrust, said the committee.

However, at a height of about 900 meters, there was a "simultaneous control column nose down input and stabilizer 5-degree nose down deflection", resulting in abrupt descent with negative vertical acceleration, the committee said in a statement.

"Afterwards, attempts of the crew to recover did not allow the avoidance of bumping against the ground," it added.

The IAC said that the investigation was ongoing at its facilities to reproduce the circumstances of the accident with airline pilots and test-pilots from Russia, the United States and the UAE.

The committee said the transcript of two hours of cockpit voice recorder data was nearly completed, and it planned to clarify the content with international investigators.