Hu­man er­ror sus­pected in Rus­sia plane crash

China Daily - - HOLIDAY | NEWS -

MOSCOW — Hu­man er­ror may be to blame for the Rus­sian plane crash that killed 71 peo­ple, Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tors said on Tues­day, not­ing that the plane’s pi­lots failed to turn on the heat­ing unit for its mea­sur­ing equip­ment, re­sult­ing in flawed speed data.

Af­ter study­ing the An-148’s flight data recorder, the In­ter­state Avi­a­tion Com­mit­tee said that Sun­day’s crash near Moscow oc­curred af­ter the pi­lots saw con­flict­ing data on the plane’s two air speed in­di­ca­tors.

The flawed read­ings came be­cause the pi­lots failed to turn on the heat­ing unit for the plane’s pres­sure mea­sure­ment equip­ment prior to take­off, the com­mit­tee said.

The pi­lots had placed the An-148 on au­topi­lot af­ter tak­ing off from Moscow’s Do­mode­dovo Air­port but took its man­ual con­trols back when they heard alarm sig­nals warn­ing of con­flict­ing speed data. One in­di­ca­tor showed the plane’s speed at zero, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

The pi­lots then per­formed a se­ries of ma­neu­vers and even­tu­ally took the plane into a dive at 30-35 de­grees. It plum­meted into a snowy field out­side of Moscow six min­utes af­ter take­off, killing all 65 pas­sen­gers and six crew on­board.

The com­mit­tee said it is con­tin­u­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but noted that “er­ro­neous data on the pi­lots’ speed in­di­ca­tors may have been a fac­tor that trig­gered the spe­cial flight sit­u­a­tion”.

The IAC said it still had to an­a­lyse the black box which recorded cock­pit con­ver­sa­tions.

Iced-over speed in­stru­ments were pre­vi­ously named as the likely rea­son be­hind the crash of the Air France 447 flight into the At­lantic in 2009, killing 228 peo­ple on board.

Emer­gency work­ers have been comb­ing through the deep snow at the site of Sun­day’s ac­ci­dent. On Tues­day, the emer­gency min­istry said they re­cov­ered 1,400 body parts and 500 plane frag­ments.

Au­thor­i­ties were tak­ing DNA sam­ples from rel­a­tives of the vic­tims in or­der to com­plete iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. The Emer­gency Min­istry added that it would soon lift the main plane de­bris from the site.

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