Weather, human error, or technical fault behind FlyDubai crash

Weather, human error, or technical fault behind FlyDubai crash
Authorities have ruled out potential terrorism in a FlyDubai crash that left 62 dead. Investigators have narrowed down weather, human error and technical glitches as likely culprits.
2 min read
20 March, 2016
The passenger jet had attempted to land twice before crashing to the ground [Getty]
Bad weather, human error and technical fault are the most likely factors that led to a FlyDubai flight crash on Saturday, killing all 62 people on board.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case into the crash which killed 44 Russians nationals, eight Ukrainians, two Indians, one Uzbek and seven "foreign" crew members.

The airline's CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith suggested it was too early to pinpoint the cause of the crash but confirmed terrorism had been ruled out.

"We will have information about the circumstances of the incident and the black box in the future, and an investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the Russian authorities and we are waiting to see the results," he said.

Flight recorders from the passenger jet were found badly damaged and could take up to a month to decode.

"The received recorders are badly damaged mechanically," Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee said in a statement on its website, alongside a photo of a crumpled recorder.

"Specialists have started the inspection, opening and removing the memory modules from their protective coverings for further work to restore the cable connections and prepare to copy the data," the IAC said.

The UAE-based airline has vowed to compensate families of the victims with $20,000, as specified by its conditions.

The plane was making a second attempt to land in poor weather conditions when it missed the Russian Rostov-on-Don runway and erupted into a fireball.

The passengers were all Russian nationals, including four children, local news channel, Life News reported, describing the crew as unspecified "foreigners".

"According to the initial information, there were 55 passengers and seven crew members on board. They are all dead," Russian investigators said.

The plane crashed about 250 metres [800ft] short of the runway, said Vasily Golubev, governor of the Rostov region.

"By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strong gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level," Golubev added.

The passenger jet had missed its first approach and attempted to land again before contact was lost, said Ian Petchenik, spokesman for the fight-tracking site Flightrader24.

The site reported that the plane was circling for about two hours before making a second attempt to land.

Clean-up operations around the crash site have been completed, but decoding the damaged black box recorder will "take weeks", investigators have said.

This will not rein-in conspiracy theories that have circulated online about the cause of the crash.