An Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet has crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport.
Flight SU 1492, operated by Sukhoi Superjet 100 with registration RA-89098, took off from Sheremetyevo Airport a little after 1800 local time on Sunday May 5 2019 bound for Murmansk with 73 passengers and five crew on board.
However, the flight crew stopped the climb at about 10,000ft and requested a return to Moscow.
Flight #SU1492 took off from Sheremetyevo Airport at 15:03 UTC time (18:03 local time).
15:11 squawk changed to 7600 (radio failure)
15:25 squawk changed to 7700 (emergency)
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) May 5, 2019
When the aircraft landed about 30 minutes later, the rear portion of the fuselage burst into flames. The emergency slides were deployed for passengers to evacuate the burning aircraft.
However, a number of passengers died in the incident.
Aeroflot published a list of 33 passengers who survived the accident on its website. However, the airline noted that the list was incomplete and would be updated as new information became available.
Media reports put the number of fatalities as high as 41 people.
Aeroflot said the aircraft was forced to return to Moscow for technical reasons and the crew “did everything in its power to save passenger lives and provide emergency assistance to those involved.”
“Tragically, they were unable to save all of those aboard,” Aeroflot said.
“Our thoughts and hearts are with those who have suffered an unspeakable loss. We mourn with you.”
Aeroflot said the flight returned to Moscow due to technical reasons.
“Malfunctions on board the aircraft, which was operating flight SU1492 from Moscow to Murmansk, were detected shortly after takeoff,” Aeroflot said.
“The crew was forced to request an emergency return to the airport. The engines caught fire after landing at Sheremetyevo; the fire was swiftly extinguished.”
“The aircraft was evacuated in 55 seconds, compared to the industry norm of 90 seconds. The captain was the last to leave the burning aircraft.”
The investigative committee of the Russian Federation has opened an investigation into the accident.
The committee said in a statement on its website investigators have commenced interviews of representatives of the airline, as well as passengers and eyewitnesses.
It would also study the technical documentation and data from the aircraft.
Accident investigations website The Aviation Herald reported eyewitness accounts showed the aircraft bounced upon landing and “on the third critical touchdown both main gear struts collapsed and the aircraft caught fire”.
UPDATE: Aeroflot #SU1492 footage shows the Sukhoi Superjet bounced on initial touchdown followed by an even harder 2nd ground contact during which the undercarriage collapsed and a fire broke out. There is no visible fire before that point. pic.twitter.com/eIaqmJk8uC
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) May 5, 2019
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a single-aisle regional jet powered by two PowerJet SaM146 turbofan engines.
The type received its certification from the Russian Certification Authority in January 2011, with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency granting the Superjet 100 its type certificate in February 2012.
In May 2012, a Superjet 100 crashed into the side of a mountain while conducting a demonstration flight in Indonesia, killing all 45 people on board. Indonesia’s investigators said pilot error contributed to the incident.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC), which is part of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, said in a statement it would be sending representatives to be part of the technical committee investigating the incident.
“SCAC brings its condolences to the families and the loved ones of the passengers and crew who passed away in the catastrophe of the SSJ100 flight SU1492,” the company said in a statement on its website.
The aircraft involved in Aeroflot flight SU1492 was delivered to the airline in September 2017. It was configured with 12 business class and 75 economy seats.
Very sad to hear of the tragic loss of life on board Aeroflot flight #SU1492. Our thoughts are with all the passengers and crew, and the families of all affected.
— IATA (@IATA) May 5, 2019