Written by Peter Carter

Updated on July 21, 2020

A Boeing 737 airliner crashed on Sunday in the Russian city of Kazan, killing all 50 people on board and spotlighting the poor safety record of regional airlines that fly internal routes across the world’s largest nation.
The Tatarstan airlines flight from Moscow had been trying to abort its landing in order to make a second approach when it crashed, killing all 44 passengers and six crew on board. Flight U363 took off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport at 6:25 pm and crashed just over an hour later. The leased plane was 23 years old.

According to local reports, the Boeing lost altitude quickly and its fuel tank exploded on impact. There were high winds and above-zero temperatures over the airport in central Russia. Flights to and from the airport were halted until midday on Monday.

Boeing officials had no immediate information and declined to comment on the crash. The Transport Prosecution Office later added (also releasing photos of the debris field), that the aircraft, tailnumber VQ-BBN, “fell onto the runway and burst into flames”.

The airline released a passenger manifest listing 44 passenger and 6 crew names confirming their aircraft was involved in an “aviation incident” at Kazan, the circumstances of which are to be clarified. The crew failed to follow the standard approach profile, went around due to considering the approach as unstable (attitude not within stable approach parameters), the engine thrust levers were moved to TOGA and the autopilot disconnected, the aircraft was under manual control for the remainder of the flight.

While the engines accelerated to near takeoff thrust, the flaps were reduced from 30 to 15 degrees, the gear was retracted and the aircraft pitched up to about 25 degrees nose up, the indicated airspeed began to decay.

Only after the airspeed had decreased from about 150 KIAS to 125 KIAS the crew began to issue control inputs to counter the nose up, the climb was stopped while the nose was lowered by control inputs. The aircraft reached a maximum height of 700 meters (2300 feet) and began to rapidly descend until the aircraft impacted ground at a nose down attitude of 75 degrees at a speed of 450 kph (242 knots)
about 20 seconds after reaching the maximum height of 700 meters.

The crew was significantly (4km) off the approach track prompting ATC to query the crew. Corrections were made, the aircraft remained significantly right of the extended runway centreline.

Categories: Aviation law

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