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.


US seizes digital currency accounts used by militant groups

Updated 13 August 2020

US seizes digital currency accounts used by militant groups

  • The seizure also involved the military wing of Hamas, known as the Al-Qassam Brigades
  • The legal action is meant to deprive the organizations of funds needed to buy weapons and equipment

WASHINGTON: The Justice Department has seized millions of dollars from cryptocurrency accounts that militant organizations abroad, including Al-Qaeda and Daesh, relied on to raise money for their operations, officials announced Thursday.
The Trump administration said the groups used the accounts to solicit donations for their causes, including through a bogus scam that officials say purported to sell protective gear for the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials described it as the largest-ever seizure of digital currency funds related to terrorism.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are favored for illicit transactions because they are perceived as hard to trace, and one of the groups explicitly encouraged donations by telling potential contributors that the money trail would be difficult for law enforcement to untangle, the department said.
The legal action, including a forfeiture complaint filed in Washington's federal court, is meant to deprive the organizations of funds needed to buy weapons and equipment and develop fighters and plots, said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the department's top national security official.
The department said it has seized about $2 million and is seeking for more, in addition to more than 300 cryptocurrency accounts and four websites. The money seized is expected to be given to a fund for victims of terrorist attacks.
The seizure also involved the military wing of Hamas, known as the Al-Qassam Brigades.
“Without funding, you cannot have these operations conducted," said Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia. “The focus here was a very proactive effort to target these organizations in a very wide-scale manner."