Daily Archives: 21.03.2016

First charter flight from Azerbaijan to Russia to be launched

Starting
from April 29, 2016,  UlyanovskRussiaBaku, Azerbaijan,
charter flight will be launched.

Yulia
Uba, President of the Travel Industry Association, Ulyanovsk Region, Russia, told
Trend News Agency, Azerbaijan, this flight is seasonal, however, in the future,
if it is in demand, it will be carried out on an ongoing basis. This decision
will be taken according to the results of the summer air navigation season.

 “During the year, we discussed this opportunity
with AZAL (Azerbaijan Airlines), because Azerbaijan also has a very good ski
resorts. They will be in demand, given the very good pricing on ski pass and
equipment hire”, Mrs. Uba said.

According
to her, the UlyanovskBaku flight is the first charter flight between Azerbaijan and Russia.

“We
are the first ones who organize charter flights to Baku. Air tickets for this flight will be
sold both as a completed tour package, and separately. The ability to buy
tickets separately from the tour package is organized, first of all, for the
residents of Ulyanovsk and the surrounding
cities of Russia, who have
relatives in Azerbaijan”,
the President of the Association said.

Mrs. Uba
added that the Tourism Association, Azerbaijan,
and the Travel Industry Association of the Ulyanovsk Region, Russian Federation, signed a Memorandum
of Cooperation.

“Within
the framework of this Memorandum, the tourist market of Russia will
sell tour packages developed by our Azerbaijani counterparts. There are lots of
opportunities for cooperation in this sector, as we have a lot of plans to
develop this direction”, Mrs. Uba said.

Source – http://www.trend.az/

Flydubai flight FZ981 crashes on landing at Rostov-on-Don, Russia

A passenger jet run by Flydubai
under the code FZ981 has crash-landed at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia, killing
all 55 passengers and seven crew members on board.

The
Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement on its website that all 62 people on board the
plane died
when it hit the ground and broke into pieces.

Its
investigators were looking into possible causes of the crash, the committee
said, including crew error, technical problems and bad weather.

The Boeing 737-800 was en
route from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don
,
a port city close to the border with Ukraine, when it missed the runway
amid heavy rain, English-language state news agency Sputnik reported, citing
Russian-language state agency RIA Novosti.

According
to various reports, the plane was making its second attempt to land in high
winds when the tip of a wing hit the ground about 250 meters short of the
runway, causing it to catch fire.

Russian
news site RT.com published a grainy security-camera video that it said showed
the crash. The black-and-while footage from a camera apparently pointing toward
the runway from across a street showed a bright light speeding toward the
ground, then a large explosion, followed by flames.

Reuters
reported that one of the flight recorders had since been recovered from the
crash site.

Flydubai
is a low-cost airline owned by the Dubai Government.

The
carrier said in a statement that the passenger group was made up of 44
Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one Uzbekistani; 33 women, 18 men
and four children. Its emergency response team was heading to Rostov-on-Don,
with chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith leading the response to the accident, it
said.

“Everyone
at flydubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends
of those involved,” the CEO said in the statement. “We don’t yet know all the
details of the accident but we are working closely with the authorities to
establish the cause.”

In
January 2015 Flydubai hit the headlines after one of its planes came under
first while landing at Baghdadairport. There were no fatalities.

Reuters
reported that President Vladimir Putin said that assisting the relatives of the
victims was the country’s top priority.

Investigators probing the crash of the FlyDubai passenger jet in Russia have
released images of the plane’s badly damaged black boxes which could provide
vital clues as to why the plane went down.

The investigating group, which will comprise
experts from several different countries, is set to consider two possibilities
– either the crash was caused by pilot error in poor weather conditions, or was
the fault of a mechanical problem.

Pilot Aristos Sokratous’s actions have been
called into question in the hours following the explosion in Rostov-on-Don amid
reports he ignored warnings about deadly turbulence.

However, investigators remain open to the
possibility mechanical faults could be to blame, despite the aircraft last
being inspected as recently as January 21.

Experts have now begun stripping and assessing
the so-called black boxes – which are in fact coloured orange – in the hopes of
gleaning clues about the doomed flight’s final moments.

The Russian Investigative
Committee is studying two possible versions of why the Flydubai flight
FZ981 crashed in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don,
that killed all 62 people on board, including human error amid severe weather
conditions and a possible technical fault.

An ad
hoc committee, set up by the Interstate Aviation Committee, is investigating
the exact circumstances of the tragedy. Both
black boxes have been recovered and
are now being studied
,
officials from the Russian transport ministry reported.

“Different
versions of the incident are being investigated, including crew error,
technical failure, bad weather and other factors,” the Investigative
Committee’s chief Vladimir Markin said.

“We
don’t know all the details but we know that the authorities are coordinating to
better understand the circumstances around the accident,” Flydubai CEO Ghaith
al-Ghaith said at a press conference in Dubaion Saturday.

Flight
981 followed its planned route from Dubai,
until the aircraft reached its final destination, Rostov-on-Don. The plane
tried to land at around 10:40pm GMT, but the first attempt was aborted. Then,
according to radar information, the pilots flew in a holding pattern over the
city, having circled the airport ten times before attempting to land for a
second time.

Poor weather conditions

Flight
dispatchers warned the pilots of the Flydubai flight FZ981 repeatedly that the
weather conditions were poor, but not critical, the head of Russian
Hydrometeorology center’s situation room Yuri Varakin told RT. According to an
alleged recording between the captain and the control tower, traffic
controllers reported shower rain and “moderate” visibility prior to fatal
landing attempt.

However,
the final decision on whether to land or not in heavy rain and gusty wind
conditions is made by the pilot-in-command, Russia’s Federal Air Transport
Agency (Rosaviatsia) explained. Some experts suggest that the plane could have
hit an air pocket which led to the crash.

“The
plane was descending and then suddenly dived down. Experts say this was an air
pocket that dragged the plane to the left of the runway center. And the plane
debris were scattered to the left as well,” Rostov region governor Vasily Golubev
suggested.

The
weather was not “extremely” difficult to land an aircraft, Aeroflot pilot Ivan
Trukhanov told RT, pointing however that crosswinds and turbulence at a low altitude
could have driven the plane “out of control” where the pilot could do nothing
to save the aircraft.

It is
unusual for an aircraft to circle for two extra hours, while other planes were
diverting much sooner or landing safely, independent aviation analyst Alex
Macheras told RT, adding however that it is always up to the pilot to decide
whether to make another landing attempt or divert.

“There
wasn’t great weather last night in the area… nothing too dangerous that would
for example close the airport, so the airport was within its rights to be taking
the arriving aircraft…,” Macheras said.

“And Rostov isn’t the easiest
airport to land at on an ordinary day,” he added. “Pilots and flight crew are
advised on their charts when landing at the airport to expect severe turbulence
and possible windshear in the final moments before touchdown.”

Human error

Two
other planes that were scheduled to land before the FZ981 flight but were
redirected to the airport in the city of Krasnodardue to bad weather. The Flydubai pilots, who had enough fuel to reroute, could
have yet decided to sit down in Rostovsince landings in non-designated airports are usually not welcomed by the
airline management, veteran pilot Oleg Smirnov told TASS.

There
are several facts that investigators believe could have increased the chance of
human error. Some observers suggested that the crew could have been tired after
circling over the city for several hours, while others noted that it may have
been the first time the crew has been to the airport in Rostov-on-Don.

On the
other hand, both pilots were well-experienced and they have received the
weather warning in advance, Ghaith al-Ghaith said following the first major
accident for Flydubai.

Technical fault

The
investigation also does not rule out the possibility of a technical fault. While
the weather conditions were bad, some noted that the way the plane came down
also seemed “strange,” pointing to a possible technical fault.

“The
Boeing fell vertically, practically nose-diving into the ground,” a source at
the emergency services said, noting that the aircraft literally disintegrated
upon impact with small fragments scattered within a relatively small radius.

The
flight data by FlightRadar “suggests that this aircarft was trying to take
off again, in other words aborting the landing for the second
time,” security expert Charles Shoebridge told RT. “As the aircraft
tried to climb back into the sky, it fell violently and crashed.”

“It
has been confirmed that this descent was at a very sharp angle… but it does
seem strange that the plane should almost literally fall out of the
sky,” Shoebridge added, noting that “it may suggest some degree of
mechanical defect.”

Shoebridge
however also does not rule out the tragedy could be a result of a human error
after long journey and two hours of holding pattern, or even a mistake by the
air traffic controllers “who decided to allow this to continue despite the
weather.”

The
flight recorders however remained in a “normal condition,” and are expected to
shed light on the exact details of the fatal crash.

Meanwhile
the Rostov-on-Don airport remains closed with all inbound flights getting
rerouted to Krasnodar,
as the search and recovery operations will continue until at least Sunday
morning, RT’s Roman Kosarev reported. As soon as the recovery operation is
over, Russian experts along with foreign ones will proceed to establishing the
cause of the crash.

While
the preliminary information from the flight data recorder and the flight voice
recorder can be extracted quite quickly, the “meaning of the data will
take a little bit over to summarize,” aviation security expert Richard
Bloom told RT.

“What
we need to do is collect data environmental factors…and then technical and
mechanical aspects of the aircraft, and then various aspects of the people
flying the plane – psychological, training and otherwise,” Bloom
explained. “You put all of that together along with the safety record of
the aircraft, safety records of the airlines. So you have multi-model data. You
analyse it with multiple means, gradually you come up with an appropriate
conclusion.”

“What
might have happened is that a perfectly good aircraft with perfectly well
trained people have crashed because of an unexpected meteorological anomaly. Maybe
a very very strong gust of wind might have helped the aircraft go off course.”

Source – https://aviationvoice.com/