Pilot error caused fatal 2016 Flydubai plane crash, says Russian aviation authority

Wreckage from the Flydubai plane which crashed at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia. (Reuters)
Updated 27 November 2019

Pilot error caused fatal 2016 Flydubai plane crash, says Russian aviation authority

  • The Boeing 737-800, operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, came down in the early hours of March 19, 2016 at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia
  • ‘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’

MOSCOW: Pilot error and possible disorientation of the crew during bad weather led to the fatal crash in Russia in 2016 of a Flydubai passenger jet, according to a report published by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee on Tuesday.
The Boeing 737-800 from Dubai, operated by the Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, came down in the early hours of March 19, 2016, at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia on its second attempt to land. All 62 people on board died.
“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 report said.
It said bad weather and dangerous local turbulence known as wind shear were also factors.
“This resulted in a loss of control of the aircraft and its impact with the ground,” it said.
The Boeing 737 was being flown by the captain at the time of the crash, the investigation said.
Addressing one of the most publicized concerns after the crash, the report said the pilots had had enough pre-flight rest, but that the possible “operational” tiredness of the crew as the flight progressed was probably a contributing factor.
The accident involved a Boeing 737-800, the predecessor to the Boeing 737 MAX, which remains grounded after two fatal crashes in the past 13 months. The 737-800 does not contain the MCAS software implicated in those crashes.


Jailed UK-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ‘chess piece’: husband

Updated 24 min 36 sec ago

Jailed UK-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ‘chess piece’: husband

  • Ratcliffe said there was a 'gap' between him and the government over its tactics
  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016

LONDON: The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran, on Thursday said his wife was being used as a “chess piece,” following talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Speaking from Downing Street after his meeting, Richard Ratcliffe said there was a “gap” between him and the government over its tactics.
“I think there remains that gap between my sense that the government needs to be tougher with Iran, alongside improving relations generally, and the Foreign Office instinct to not have things escalate,” he told reporters.
“I don’t think I have come away thinking Nazanin is coming out tomorrow or even next week.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 after visiting relatives in Iran with her young daughter.
She worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — at the time.
Her family say Johnson jeopardized her case by mischaracterizing her job at the time.
Iranian authorities convicted her of sedition — a charge Zaghari-Ratcliffe has always contested — and she is serving a five-year jail term.
Her case has unfolded amid escalating tensions between Tehran and the West, particularly the United States and Britain.
But Ratcliffe believes it is particularly linked to London’s failure to return £400 million ($500 million, 450 million euros) owed to Tehran for a 1970s tank deal.
Ratcliffe said Thursday that his wife was “being held hostage” and used as a “chess piece.”
“That wasn’t disputed in there,” he said. “The UK obviously is wary of that tightrope it is walking between the US and Europe in Iran relations.
“I was saying ‘I think this is different’. This is a global norm, that actually we all uphold universal values where hostage-taking shouldn’t be happening.”
Ratcliffe had previously blamed Johnson for making his wife’s case worse by mistakenly stating, when he was foreign minister, that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists while visiting Iran.
The pair “didn’t talk about the past” on Thursday, he said.
Johnson “was very clear that he was committed in what he was doing... and that if there was anything they could do almost within reason, that they were ready to do it,” Ratcliffe added.
“I don’t doubt his personal commitment to Nazanin.”