Pilot error led to 2016 Flydubai crash – Russian report

Boeing aircraft crashed during rough weather as it approached the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in March 2016

Wreckage of a crashed airplane at the Rostov-on-Don airport on March 20, 2016. Courtesy: VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images

Pilot error during turbulent weather conditions led to the fatal crash of a Flydubai aircraft as it approached the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in March 2016, Reuters reported, citing the conclusion of an investigation by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee.

“The fatal air accident…occurred during the second go-around, due to an incorrect aircraft configuration and crew piloting (and) the subsequent loss of the (commanding pilot’s) situational awareness at night-time,” the Russian report said.

The Boeing 737-800 from Dubai crashed during a second attempt to land at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia, with all 55 passengers and seven crew killed in the incident.

Strong winds were cited as a contributing factor, which “resulted in a loss of control of the aircraft and its impact with the ground,” the report said.

“Flydubai acknowledges the conclusions and recommendations drawn by the IAC. We have taken our obligations seriously and have implemented additional actions above and beyond those identified in the Final Report,” Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of Flydubai, said in press statement.

“Since the accident, our priorities have been to support the bereaved families, to conduct a thorough review of our internal processes and systems, and to support the work of the Investigator In Charge. The pursuit of safety enhancements remains central to our operations,” Al Ghaith added.

In its 13 page statement issued on Tuesday, Flydubai said “ambiguity in the manufacturer’s operating manuals led to confusion in the type of go-around being flown,” while it also acknowledged that “it is possible that the Captain and the First Officer were experiencing operational tiredness at the time of the second go-around which was conducted under intense workload and in turbulent weather”.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, Boeing said it was reviewing the details of the Russian report and would work with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other global regulators to consider the safety recommendations.

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