As many as 41 people lost their lives just minutes after the plane took off in Russia. The investigators are now probing an error on the pilot’s side that lead to the deadly blaze
Moscow: Russian investigators are considering the angle of an error by the pilot as the cause of a crash-landing in Moscow. The blaze after an emergency landing killed 41 people.
The Sukhoi Superjet-100 had just flown out of Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday evening (May 5) when it made an emergency landing just minutes after. It circled back, bounced on the runway and caught fire.
Russian newspapers reported that the Aeroflot pilots made a number of errors including flying into a thunderstorm and landing with a full tank rather than circling to use up fuel.
Reports also say that the pilots opened a cockpit window, potentially fanning the flames, and failed to turn off engines immediately after landing.
Investigators are still examining the black boxes from the plane and have so far given no official reason for the crash.
Pilot Denis Yevdokimov earlier said the lightning strike shortly after takeoff caused the aircraft to lose communication and forced the emergency landing.
Passengers and crew said they saw a bright light and felt a jolt as the plane entered clouds.Videos on social media showed the plane landing with a jolt and then speeding along the runway even as flames were being fanned.
Survivor Oleg Molchanov, who posted a photo of his boarding pass to prove his identity, wrote on an online forum that toxic black smoke filling the cabin within seconds was the reason evacuation from the back rows was extremely difficult.
Ten passengers were hospitalised following the crash, and all were in a stable condition on Tuesday, transport minister Yevgeny Dietrich said.
Russia's national carrier Aeroflot was once notorious for a poor safety record but in recent years its image has improved and it has not had a fatal accident in more than a decade.
Last Updated 11:16 AM IST