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FlyDubai plane in good working order when it crashed, investigators find

MOSCOW, March 30 (UPI) — The Boeing 737-800 that crashed in Russia on March 19, killing 62 aboard, was in good working order, a flight recorder analysis revealed.

FlyDubai flight FZ981 traveled from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don, Russia, where it crashed in bad weather on its third attempt to land. A statement Tuesday by the Interstate Aviation Committee is in line with information previously published by Russia’s Kommersant newspaper and broadcast on Russian television, citing unidentified sources, suggesting pilot error was at fault.

“Based on the preliminary analysis of information from the flight recorders, no failures of any aircraft systems and components or powerplant have been revealed by now,” the IAC report said. “The aircraft had a valid airworthiness certificate, it underwent all the necessary technical maintenance and was in good order at the time of departure.”

The IAC said it plans to analyze parts of the plane’s steering system that have been salvaged, to see if they yield any clues.

Those investigating the crash include specialists from the IAC, the United Arab Emirates, France and the United States. There were no survivors among the 55 passengers and seven crew members.

RT, a media company funded by the Russian government, said Tuesday it has been contacted, following the crash, by more than 60 former and current employees of FlyDubai and another Dubai-based carrier, Emirates Airlines, who have alleged that the airlines mistreat pilots. According to RT, the sources have said the airlines miscalculate pilots’ time spent at work, leading to pilot fatigue and error. Several, RT said, admitted they or their co-workers have fallen asleep while piloting planes. The complaints also include statements indicating pilots are discouraged from filing internal reports, and when reports of problems are submitted, the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority does not act on them.

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