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Sukhoi Superjet downing: what is known about the terrible tragedy and its causes

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In the evening on Sunday, May 5, in Russia there was a plane crash with the Sukhoi Superjet-100, which claimed the lives of 41 people.

"Apostrophe" tells everything that is known about the tragedy at the moment.

What happened?

Plane flight following the route Moscow-Murmansk flew from the airport "Sheremetyevo" at 18:03. A little more than 20 minutes later, the pilots reported an emergency: the plane was struck by lightning. After that, according to some reports, the aircraft communication system failed.

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At 18:30 the plane made a hard landing at the airport: it hit the runway twice, broke the chassis and then the aircraft engine caught fire.

The cause of the accident

There is no exact information about the causes of the accident yet. The pilot of the aircraft Denis Evdokimov claims that he landed the ship in Moscow smoothly. Evdokimov is not a beginner: he had 1400 hours of flights on SSJ-100 and 6800 hours of total flights.

There is a version that during the landing there was panic on board the aircraft: passengers were snatching their belongings and breaking through to the exit before landing, allegedly they rocked the plane, preventing the pilot to make a normal landing.

The Investigative Committee is considering the error of the crew as the cause of the tragedy.

Now it is already known that "black boxes" of SSJ-100 were found. They will help investigators to establish the causes of the disaster.

How the people were being saved

It is reported that the evacuation of passengers was performed in 55 seconds while the established standard equals to 90 seconds. However, the passengers themselves, despite the orders of flight attendants, complicated the evacuation, taking with them hand luggage.

Also it is noted that initially the airport refused to let the emergency city fire services to the place of the incident, trying to overcome fire by own forces. It complicated the fire-fighting and probably deprived a part of the passengers of their chances of survival.

Sukhoi Superjet-100. What kind of plane it is

Sukhoi Superjet is a Russian aircraft that has been operated since 2011. Its development cost Russia RUB 44 billion. The aircraft was created for the purpose of subsequent sale to third countries, but over time, almost all countries that bought the SSJ-100, returned it to Russia due to frequent breakdowns and high cost of maintenance.

Since 2011, the aircraft has been involved in 19 emergency incidents.

According to some reports, at the end of 2018, 46% of the released SSJ aircraft had breakdowns.

The airline "Aeroflot" previously made a closed report in which it stated that the use of SSJ-100 was dangerous. In particular, according to the air force, the document noted that in February of 2019, there were 21 incidents with “Aeroflot” aircraft. Of these, 12 happened to Superjets.

This is the second big downing associated with the Sukhoi Superjet-100. On May 9, 2012, the SSJ-100 crashed during a demonstration flight in Indonesia. 45 people were killed: eight Russians, one Frenchman, one US citizen, two Italians, the rest of the passengers were citizens of Indonesia.