Sunday, April 24, 2016

Just how did fatal flydubai flight FZ981 crash?

The report by Russian authorities investigating the cause of a flydubai crash in southern Russia last month provides a key insight into what went wrong.

7DAYS examined the report and showed it to one UAE-based expert.

Here are the key findings:

Moments before the flight from Dubai to Rostov-on Don crashed into the runway, the plane was thrown off balance by the excessive pressing of a switch used to stabilize the plane, the IAC’s preliminary report revealed. The result causing the aircraft to nosedive, according to one pilot and aviation consultant. During a third attempt at landing at Rostov-on-Don in the early hours of March 19, the pilot held down the control column, bringing the aircraft to a nose down descent, while pressing a trim switch to level out the plane at the same time, the report said.

“It’s like a see-saw,” said Karim Hijazi from Synapsis aviation consultants in the UAE.

“When you press the switch it operates the back of the aircraft moving the stabilizer up or down, changing the angle of the stabilizer. Normally you do small adjustments, for one second or two seconds. But what happened is that for 12 seconds the aircraft was completely out of balance, nose down,” Hijazi said, before adding that any attempt to level the aircraft is obsolete against the powerful force of the stabilizer switch on board.

The command put the aircraft into a 50 degree-angle, he explained. “This was a very critical stage in the flight, the few seconds where no matter what, you’re very much focused in what you do.”

He also dismissed the possibility that the button could have been pressed for that period accidentally.  “In my opinion it’s either manual input for 12 seconds or it could have been that for some reason the switch got stuck,” he said.

When this happens it’s called a ‘trim runaway’, Hijazi explained, adding that there are protocols in place allowing the pilot to disconnect the stabilizer engines if this happens.

He said it is part of each pilot’s basic training. “The weather forecast for Rostov-on-Don and along the flight was not inhibitive and was consistent with meteorological flight rule regulations,” added the report.

Investigators will now continue the next stages of the investigation during which time further examinations of the Boeing 737-800 systems and psycho-emotional state of the crew would be concluded, the report said.

Meanwhile, people are continuing to pay their respects on the memorial website,, set up recently by flydubai. One tribute, posted by Diana on Friday, read: “That’s a very big tragedy, they will always be in hearts and memories, stay strong.”

Russian Aviation body’s recommendations

Safety recommendations by Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee to flydubai in the wake of the crash:

The investigators recommended all flight and maintenance staff working on the airline’s Boeing 737-800’s be informed about the accident.

Additional training with manually-operated aborted landings in various conditions should also be introduced.

The same recommendation was made for flight simulator training. The flydubai plane crashed after a second manual aborted landing.

The investigators also recommended that flydubai “repeatedly study and analyse” safety recommendations made in the reports about the fatal Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 in Kazan, Russia in 2013 and Armavia Flight 967 in Sochi, Russia in 2013. Both flights crashed after an attempted aborted landing.

Investigators also recommended that flydubai repeatedly studies ways to prevent accidents and incidents involving aborted landings developed by the French air accident investigation agency BEA.

Original article can be found here:

NTSB Identification: DCA16RA108
Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Aircraft: BOEING 737, registration:
Injuries: 62 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a BOEING 737 that occurred on March 19, 2016. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the MAK investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the airplane.

All investigative information will be released by the MAK.

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