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 Post subject: Russia plane crash 50 dead
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 18 Nov 2013 07:18 
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Russia plane crash 50 dead!
Boeing 737 crashes while landing at Kazan airport.The Boeing 737 passenger plane
was making a second attempt to land and exploded when it hit the runway.

A plane crash in central Russia has left 50 people dead - including one British national and a son of the president of an oil-rich region in the country.

The Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed while landing in the city of Kazan.

The flight from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport was making a second attempt to land and exploded when it hit the runway.

All 44 passengers and six crew on board were killed following the crash-landing at 15:25 GMT.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British national in the crash, while according to a passenger list, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov’s son, Irek, was on the flight from Moscow to Kazan.

Eyewitnesses say the Boeing lost altitude quickly and its fuel tank exploded on impact.

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As reported by Russia Today, Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius said: "The plane attempted to land several times.

"One of the [fuel] tanks detonated while the plane was landing.”

A witness who was at the airport at the time of the crash heard a loud bang and felt trembling.

According to local reports, there were high winds and cloudy skies over the airport.

Kazan is the capital and largest city of the largely Muslim region of Tatarstan and is located about 450 miles east of Moscow.

It has a population of 1,1 million and is the eighth most populous city in Russia.

The flight was operated by the regional Tatarstan airline, a ministry spokeswoman said.

A journalist who said she had flown on the same aircraft from Kazan to Moscow's Domodedovo airport earlier in the day told Channel One state television that the landing in Moscow had been frightening because of a strong vibration during the final minutes of the flight.

"When we were landing it was not clear whether there was a strong wind, although in Moscow the weather was fine, or some kind of technical trouble or problem with the flight," said Lenara Kashafutdinova.

"We were blown in different directions, the plane was tossed around.

"The man sitting next to me was white as a sheet."

Russia’s regional airlines have a poor safety record. In April 2012, at least 31 people were killed when a Russian passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off in Siberia.

In Sept. 2011, a Yak-42 passenger jet carrying members of a major league ice hockey team came down shortly after takeoff and burst into flames near the Russian city of Yaroslavl, killing 44 people.

Russia and the former Soviet republics combined had one of the world’s worst air-traffic safety records in 2010, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average, according to the International Air Transport Association.

IATA said last year that global airline safety had improved in 2011 but that accident rates had risen in Russia and the ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.

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Causes under review: Pilot error, poor fuel, technical failure, weather

The Investigation Committee has launched a probe into the crash. The head of the committee, Vladimir Markin, said the crash might have been caused by pilot error, technical malfunction, or weather conditions. In the meantime, the US National Transportation Safety Board has expressed its commitment to the investigation by offering to send a team of its experts, headed by Dennis Jones, a senior investigator.

Experts from Russia's federal aviation authority, Rosaviation, will be joining a separate official probe into the accident.

According to local reports, there were high winds and cloudy skies over the airport in central Russia. Temperatures were above zero.

An emergency services source told Interfax that the pilots apparently made some mistake when entering the second lap. “The plane attempted to land several times. One of the [fuel] tanks detonated while the plane was landing,” said Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius. Despite this, according to the airline spokesman's words to Interfax, "the pilots, both born in 1966, had lots of experience."

Another version involves problems with the landing gear. Apparently, one of the pilots radioed the control tower to report that there was "an issue with the landing configuration."

"He told me he would attempt to perform another circle and I dictated the numbers to him - all according to procedure - and that was that. He [the pilot] confirmed the instructions, but didn't sway from his path. [The crash] happened mere seconds later," Kirill Kornishin told Russia 24 TV, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Among other reasons considered by investigators is low-quality fuel, the Investigative Committee said. “We ordered to take samples of the fuel that was used to fill up the aircraft in Moscow,” a senior official told ITAR-TASS.

The crew reported 500 meters before hitting the runway that the machinery was not ready for landing, an unnamed source told Interfax. According to another report, the plane is believed to have touched the ground with its wing when landing, said a representative of the Investigation Committee, as cited by RIA Novosti.

An expert on air accidents, first-class pilot Vladimir Gerasimov told RT that he suspects “an apparent crew error,” as the plane failed to make a precise landing approach on its first try. However, this can be verified only after the flight data recorder of the crashed plane is analysed, he added.

The weather conditions were favorable for landing, argued sources from the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russia.

“The visibility was five thousand meters, the runway was dry. You cannot even imagine better conditions,” said an employee from the federal service, adding that it is unlikely that bad weather caused the crash.

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