(Please note, this matter is not currently being litigated in Australia)A Russian Boeing 737 flight has crashed when attempting to land at Kazan Airport in Russia on 17 November 2013. The flight (reported as flight number U 363) was carrying 44 passengers and 6 crew who were all fatally injured. Conflicting witness reports say the aircraft made either two or three landing attempts, and then hit the ground hard and burst into flames on its final approach.
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has published a list of all the passengers names, but this will not be reproduced here out of respect for the families.
Russia is generally considered to have a poor air safety record and accident investigators will be focusing on factors such as pilot error, weather, and technical problems whether these are by virtue of inadequate maintenance, or actual manufacturer issues. Some early indications are that there were instrument landing system unserviceabilities at the destination airport, which could have contributed to the accident. Investigators are considering criminal sanctions against the pilots, which is atypical in such situations around the world.
The aircraft itself, a 23 year old Boeing 737, registration VQ-BBN, was operating a domestic flight from Moscow. The aircraft was one which had seen service in both Europe and Africa before it came to Tatarstan Airlines.
Update 2 December 2013: Preliminary investigations by the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) in Russia have indicated a range of potential causes of the accident including the pilot’s inability (for as yet unknown reasons) to follow the standard landing pattern set out in relevant aeronautical documents.
It appears initially that the aircraft climbed when full thrust was applied on a missed approach attempt, and then the landing gear was retracted all while one of two autopilot systems was engaged. After this, the airspeed started to decrease and the crew started to hand fly the aircraft by pitching the aircraft down, which stopped the climb. The aircraft thereafter entered a steep nosedive and impacted the ground at significant speed. The preliminary analysis said no “single commands” were detected on the flight data recorder which would indicate failures of aircraft or engine systems or units, and also that maximum angles of attack were not exceeded during the flight (which would suggest the aircraft did not enter an aerodynamic stall).
The official investigation will continue.
Shine Lawyers has partnered with Russian law firm Eberg, Stepanov and Partners to offer help to the families of victims of the Tatarstan Airlines crash on 17 November 2013. Initially this will involve investigating where legal responsibility for the crash may reside and may progress, if needed, to representing families in litigation against the airline and/or other potential defendants.
Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms Inna Makarova:
Gorkogo str., 143, 44, Rostov-on-Don,
Tel: +7 (863) 290-7082
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 17, 2013.