Prosecutors look at technical fault
in Siberia air crash

MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti)-

The Airbus A-310 jet after it crashed at the airport.

 Russian prosecutors said Sunday they were focusing on the possibility that a technical fault may have caused an air crash earlier in the day in Siberia that left more than 100 people dead.
"[Various] versions of the Airbus crash are being considered, but one of the main ones is a technical fault with the plane," the Prosecutor General's Office said.
Rescuers said 102 people had been killed and 54 injured after the Airbus A-310 overshot the runway in Irkutsk and hit a wall. It then burst into flames.
Sibir Airlines, which owned the plane, said there were 192 passengers on board and eight crewmembers. Fifty-four people are being treated in the hospital.
Irkutsk, 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) east of Moscow, is the main airport for holidaymakers heading for Lake Baikal, a popular destination for Russians in the summer.
Transportation Minister Igor Levitin, who has been appointed the head of a government commission into the tragedy, said the runway was wet after rain, but an official from the Emergency Situations Ministry said the landing gear may have caught fire as the plane landed.
On May 3, an Armenian A-320 crashed in the Black Sea killing all 113 people on board.
In 1997, a Russian-made airliner crashed near Irkutsk with the loss of all 145 passengers and crew.

Around 150 dead' in Russian Airbus Crash

A310 tails for comparison

Sunday, July 9, 2006 Posted: 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)


 MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- A Russian passenger plane crashed on landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk early Sunday, killing around 150 passengers, Russian news agencies reported. Officials confirmed they have recovered 65 bodies.

The plane, on a flight from Moscow to Irkutsk, veered off the runway as it was landing at about 7:50 a.m. local time (2250 GMT Saturday), hit a concrete barrier and burst into flames, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said.

Russian news reports said that many children were among the passengers. They were traveling on vacation on Lake Baikal, which is near Irkutsk, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

Rescue workers who were sifting through the wreckage of the aircraft so far had found 65 bodies, said another Ministry spokeswoman Natalya Lukash. Russian television pictures showed the wreckage of the aircraft , which crashed into a one-story structure on the airport perimeter, with a plume of smoke pouring from it. Firefighters in protective gear and helmets clambered on top.

Lukash said that 55 people were injured in the crash. Most of the other passengers were feared dead, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies reported that around 150 people had died, quoting a preliminary toll from the regional prosecutor's office and transport ministry.

The Sibir Airbus A-310 was carrying a crew of eight and 192 passengers.

"The aircraft veered off the runway on landing. It was traveling at a terrific speed," Andrionova said.

Rudder appears structurally integral in this photograph

The plane hit a concrete barrier, collapsing the front section of the aircraft, she said. It then burst into flames.

It took five emergency services more than two hours to extinguish the flames, Andrianova said.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said there was no information yet about the likely cause of the crash.

Relatives of the passengers onboard the flight to Irkutsk were expected later Sunday to arrive at Moscow's Domodedovo airport where it took off from.

In May, another Airbus aircraft crashed in stormy weather off Russia's Black Sea coast while readying to land, killing all 113 people on board.

Airline officials said they believed the crash of the Armenian passenger plane was due to driving rain and low visibility.

Among other deadly crashes in Russia in recent years, in July 2001, a Tu-154 Russian passenger plane crashed and burst into flames in Siberia, killing all 143 people on board.

And in March, 1994, a half-empty Airbus A-310 belonging to Russian state airline Aeroflot crashed near the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk, killing 70 people. Investigators said the crash was caused mainly by the pilot's teenage son inadvertently disconnecting the autopilot.

  Early Analysis

See data just below. Shows Hourly METARS (airfield weathers for Irkutsk) -  indicating that at the time of the accident (082250Z) the weather was a static overcast at 500ft to 600ft with visibility 3500m in rain, rainshowers, cumulo-nimbus, only a 1 to 2 degree spread between wet and dry bulb (i.e. very misty), and with a steady barometer. I'm guessing that they came out of the cloud cover in a heavy rainshower with a bad line-up and misjudged their short approach path to the lengthy 3210m runway 30 [usable length is 2765m]; tried to recoup and recover and blew it badly (landing far too far in - down the runway). Conditions would have been prime for a microburst (mixture of heavy outflow, downdrafts and updrafts due to the CB - i.e.the thunderstorm activity). Wind was otherwise light and not far off the runway head (i.e. a v slight crosswind from the left).

 Once upon the ground, panic-stricken heavy manual braking on wet rubber deposits may well have blown tires and caused them to lose directional control at high speed. The virtues of going around off an unstable approach are well documented. There had been no prior emergency situation reported to ATC. Aircraft was seen to have landed very fast (i.e. with a strong following wind of up to 35kts - due to the microburst). A mobile phone camera has caught footage of it's landing.

The company ran its first A310 flight from Irkutsk to Moscow in July 2004. Sibir has ten airliners of this class. This a/c was a former Aeroflot(delivered as F-OGYP on:9.08.1996) plane c/n:422 delivered to S7 (prev known as Sibir Airlines) on 18.06.2004

 UIII 082300Z 28005MPS 3500 -SHRA OVC006CB 11/09 Q1002 NOSIG RMK QBB190
> QFE707/0943 30290250
> UIII 082200Z 28004MPS 250V310 3500 -SHRA OVC005CB 11/10 Q1002 NOSIG RMK
> QBB170 QFE707/0943 30290250

http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/0/28.html?id_issue=11549934   and  http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/0/28.html?id_issue=11549932

Irkutsk
Airfield Data: Fire Category 8
Emergency Services: AVBL
Navigational Aids: AVBL
Airfield Restrictions: Nil
Noise Restrictions: Nil
Aircraft Maintenance: Minor repairs at aircraft repair base
Refuelling: AVBL without limitation
Runway 1: Heading 115/295, 3,165m (10,383ft), 72/R/C/X/T, ICAO Cat. I, Rwy 115, ILS 115, Lighting: HIALS CatI:PAPI, Restrictions: Rwy 12 threshold is displaced by 400m towards ARP, Rwy 295, ILS 295, Lighting: HIALS CatI:PAPI, Restrictions: Rwy 30 usable length is 2765m

SEE ALSO   http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library%5CrgAD.nsf/0/1FB3DA8F97901D5186256A9A005897A2?OpenDocument

i.e. this link  (summary below)

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to all Airbus Model A300 B2, A300 B4, A310, A319, A320, A321, A330, and A340 series airplanes; and Model A300 B4-600, A300 B4-600R, and A300 F4-600R (collectively called A300-600) series airplanes. That AD currently requires certain repetitive checks, and replacement of the braking dual distribution valve (BDDV) if necessary. This action requires, for certain airplanes, inspecting and/or replacing the BDDV cover. For all other airplanes, this action provides for optional termination of the repetitive checks. This amendment is prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent failure of the alternate braking system, which could result in the airplane overrunning the end of the runway during landing.

DATES: Effective September 4, 2001.