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Russia plane crash: 61 killed onboard flydubai jet in Rostov-on-Don

The plane was making its second attempt to land in bad weather when it missed the runway, erupting in a huge fireball as it crashed.

By: AFP | Moscow | Published: March 19, 2016 11:08 am
russia plane crash, russia jet crash, russia crash, flydubai jet crash, flydubai plane crash, russia news, russia flight crash, world news, breaking news Russian Emergency Situations Ministry employees and police officers are seen as they take a car to drive to the area of a plane crash at the Rostov-on-Don airport, about 950 kilometers (600 miles) south of Moscow, Russia Saturday, March 19, 2016. (Source: AP)

All sixty-one people on board a flydubai Boeing 737 were killed when their plane crashed and burst into flames as it was landing in Rostov-on-Don, in Southern Russia, this morning, officials said.

The plane was making its second attempt to land in bad weather when it missed the runway, erupting in a huge fireball as it crashed.

“flydubai regrets to confirm that flight FZ981 crashed on landing and that fatalities have been confirmed as a result of this tragic accident,” the airline said on its Facebook page.

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The local emergencies ministry confirmed that all 55 passengers and six crew on board were killed.

“A Boeing 737 crashed as it was coming into land. There were 61 people on board. They are all dead,” said a spokesman from the local ministry, quoted by the official TASS news agency.

The plane hit the ground a few hundred metres from the runway as it was making its second approach, Russian news channel LifeNews reported.

Footage shown on local media showed a huge fireball erupting from the crash site.

It was raining hard and a strong wind warning had been issued by the local emergencies ministry, TASS said.

“The Boeing 737 on the Dubai to Rostov-on-Don route caught fire (after crashing),” an official statement from the emergencies ministry said, adding that it took an hour to bring the blaze under control.

The accident happened at 0620 IST according to the statement. The plane had left Dubai at 2350 IST last night, flydubai confirmed.

“We are putting our emergency response in place and we will be working closely with all the authorities involved. We will share as much information as possible just as soon as we can and we will provide updated information on a regular basis,” Emirates-based flydubai said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Boeing said they were aware of the incident.

“We’re aware of reports coming out of Russia and our team is currently gathering more details,” the plane manufacturer said on Twitter.

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  1. T
    Mar 19, 2016 at 10:37 pm
    Ten minutes before Flydubai Flight 98 was cleared for its first attempt to land, S7 Airlines Flight 1159 and Ural Airlines Flight 2758 landed successfully at Rostov-on-Don Airport. Twelve minutes after Flydubai Flight 981's first aborted landing after which it went into a holding pattern, Aeroflot Flight 1166 from Moscow Sheremetyevo made the first of three three unsuccessful attempts to land at Rostov within the next 35 minutes before diverting to the nearby Krasnodar Airport, landing successfully there. According to ATC communications published online, before the aircraft was established on the localiser, the instrument which indicates the center line of the runway when pilots are landing using instruments rather than visually, pilots reported to ATC that in case they would need to make another go-around, they would climb to flight level 80 (2,400 m). They then reported that they were established on the localiser and continued their descent. At 5.5 kilometres before the runway threshold, when the aircraft was at 450 m, it started climbing again. ATC records appeared to show that the aircraft was going around moments before it crashed. The pilots reported their intention to abort the landing with "Going around, Skydubai 981". ATC advised Flight 981 to switch to another air traffic controller ("Skydubai 981, contact Rostov Radar on 121.2"). Flight 981 acknowledged this with "121.2, bye-bye", which was their final transmission. After aborting its second approach, at an alude of 1,230 m, Flydubai Flight 981 began a rapid descent with a vertical speed reaching more than 105 m/s and crashed and completely disintegrated about 250m short of the runway. Changing the "pilot flying" (PF) and "pilot monitoring" (PM) roles after the first missed approach has the advantage of the second approach being conducted by a “fresh” set of hands and mitigates the effect of the tunnel vision that often occurs after failed to land at the first attempt. A manually flown go-around in night / Instrument meteorological conditions and light weight can produce an inner ear acceleration illusion known as somatogravic /vestibular illusion. Longitudinal acceleration can be falsely sensed by the pilots as an extreme pitch-up. The sensation can be overwhelming and cause pilots to ignore other sensory inputs, forcing the aircraft into a dive. This was a cause factor in the Gulf Air Flight 072 – Airbus A320 accident in Bahrain almost 16 years ago, the Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 - Airbus A330 crash in Tripoli almost 6 years ago and Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 - Boeing 737-500 crash in Kazan two years ago. Similarly several military jets were also lost during the early days of jet aircraft catapult launches from US aircraft carriers. Since instinct to push during the acceleration is uncontrollable, it is very important to have the right hand OFF the "joy-stick" during the launch