Russian authorities were investigating the pilot of the Sukhoi Superjet-100 that burst into flames in Moscow killing 41 people. The Sukhoi Superjet-100 had just flown out of Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday evening when it sent out an emergency signal and circled back, bouncing on the runway and catching fire.
Investigators say that the he Aeroflot pilots made a number of errors including flying into a thunderstorm and landing with a full tank rather than circling to use up fuel. Local newspapers said that the pilots opened a cockpit window, potentially fanning the flames, and failed to turn off engines immediately after landing.
The black boxes from the plane was recovered and investigators so far have given no official reason for the crash.
The Pilot, Denis Yevdokimov earlier said the lightning strike shortly after take-off caused the aircraft to lose communication and forced the emergency landing. Passengers and crew said they saw a bright light and felt a jolt as the plane entered clouds.
Social media footage shows the plane landing with a jolt and then speeding along the runway with flames pouring from its fuselage. People were running from the blazing plane as columns of black smoke billowed into the sky. Users, criticised passengers who were seen carrying carrying their luggage during the emergency situation.
Russia’s national carrier Aeroflot was once known for a poor safety record but in recent years its image has improved and it has not had a fatal accident in more than a decade. However, the Sukhoi Superjet-100 had severe issues since its launch in 2011, also failing to convince foreign airlines to purchase the Sukhoi.
The Russian Government minister earlier said that the government did not have any plans to ground the Superjet-100 model after the incident.
UPDATE: Aeroflot #SU1492 footage shows the Sukhoi Superjet bounced on initial touchdown followed by an even harder 2nd ground contact during which the undercarriage collapsed and a fire broke out. There is no visible fire before that point. pic.twitter.com/eIaqmJk8uC
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Source : Various