This is the trending video showing the last moments of an airplane that exploded at the runway of a Russian Airport recently.
Horrifying new footage of the jet disaster that killed 41 in Moscow has emerged amid claims pilots made basic errors during the emergency because they were incapable of landing without the assistance of autopilot.
The Aeroflot plane can be seen bouncing down the runway before bursting into a deadly fireball at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on May 5, reports Daily Mail.
The footage emerged as an expert claimed that the experienced captain Denis Evdokimov – hospitalised as a result of the crash – had never previously manually flown the Sukhoi Superjet 100 in so-called ‘direct mode’ before the crash.
A lightning strike soon after takeoff forced the pilots to make an emergency landing but this should not have led to the flames in which dozens were burned alive or killed by toxic fumes, say authoritative figures in Moscow.
The crash investigation is leaning towards ‘pilot error’ over the landing and leading Moscow experts now say an ‘over-dependence on autopilot’ on commercial flights is an issue that should be addressed by all major airlines.
Despite the lightning strike which disabled the plane’s internal communications, an emergency landing in manual mode should have been relatively straightforward, according to Kommersant newspaper, which cited sources in the official investigation.
But ‘it was the pilots themselves who dangerously speeded up the aircraft immediately before landing and, on top of that, put it into a dive’.
This made the situation ‘critical’.
‘Now the investigation is to establish which of the two pilots performed the dangerous manoeuvre that cost 41 lives,’ stated Kommserant.
Autopilot systems allow pilots to fully automate landing procedures or to partially control them. They can also be totally switched off, allowing the pilot to take full control.
So-called ‘Autoland’ systems guide the plane onto the runway using the lines on the tarmac at approved airports. Both Sheremetyevo airport and the Sukhoi Superjet 100 are equipped for fully automated landings.
But in this case it is believed the pilot chose, or was forced, to land the aircraft without the aid of the autopilot system – a process which Denis Evdokimov was reportedly not well-practised in.
Separately, aviation expert and former designer at Sukhoi Design Bureau, Vadim Lukashevich, said: ‘I believe that this catastrophe is a consequence of a set of mistakes of pilots that began from the moment when lightning hit the plane.
‘It caused problems but they were not critical. The decision to return was right.
‘But then the pilots had to remember they actually are pilots and had to fly the plane the way that was normal for international aviation 40 years ago, without autopilot.
‘To my knowledge, the commander of the aircraft Denis Evdokimov who has flown over 1,400 hours on SSJ-100 had never landed in Direct Mode (fully manually).
‘They were landing normally, with a glide path but they pushed the nose down and increased the speed before landing.
‘It was lucky that the front gear didn’t break. If that happened, the consequences would have been even worse.’
A source said: ‘The preliminary information on the disaster with the detailed analysis of the actions of the crew, the land services and the controllers will be released by late May in an interim report.’
The Kremlin has bluntly refused to halt flights by the SuperJet – or production of the aircraft – despite a series of last-minute cancellations and passenger concern over its safety.
This is seen as an indication investigators will blame human error for the crash.
Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said: ‘Why do we have to cut production? Has anyone refused to buy the aircraft? No production cuts are planned.’
In his only comment on the disaster, the plane’s captain Denis Evdokimov appeared not to acknowledge the heavy landing that preceded the fire, claiming ‘everything was according to the book’.
‘We lost radio communication because of a lightning strike,’ he said. ‘We did not have radio communications during landing.
‘We managed to resume it via an emergency frequency but it was abrupt and short. We managed to say a few words and lost it. And we had to connect it again.
‘Air traffic control did help us, they guided us to the runway. The speed was not high, but normal for landing.
‘Everything was according to the book. We gently approached the ground, slowing down.
‘After a complete stop we ordered emergency evacuation. The second pilot was the first to leave the cockpit, then I did.
‘At first I did not glance outside. When I did, I saw a fire engine. The fire began after landing. We were not on fire when in the air.’
His co-pilot Maxm Kuznetsov, 36, has not spoken about the crash.
He was seen as a hero having escaped by rope from a cockpit window.
Kuznetsov then clambered up the emergency slide amid reports he rescued Captain Evdokimov.
There has been no official explanation if this account was correct.
Source: Daily Mail