NEWS UPDATE: As the investigation continues into the Saratov Airline’ crash in February, questions are being raised about the level of training received by the crew! Could they have prevented the death of 71 people if properly trained?

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The Russian built Antonov – 148 crashed roughly 6 minutes after take-off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport killing all 65 passengers and 6 crew on the 11th February 2018.

The initial reports suggest that one of the soviet built Ivchenko-Progress D-436 TurboFan Jet engines exploded mid-flight. A witness reported the aircraft ingulfed in flames before it hit the ground about 20km south-east of Moscow.

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With 39 Antonov – 148’s being produced since 2004 this could potentially highlight a design flaw with the aircraft and with those other aircraft still in service it is imperative that the investigators find the route cause.


Information provided by the transponder shows us that the aircraft was descending rapidly from 6200 feet to 3200 feet when in fact it should be climbing towards its cruising altitude.

The signal was lost below 3200 feet but everything looked normal until 2 minutes earlier which suggest a sudden loss of control and as suggested by the witness an ‘explosion’.


The 7-year old aircraft registration RA-61704 was previously owned by Rossiya who have also had recent engine troubles when the Airbus A319 carrying the Russian World Cup team had to make an emergency landing. Check out our other articles to see what happened there…


Taking all things into consideration including mechanical failure, Russian criminal investigators are now questioning what level of training the pilot and crew had to prevent or manage the incident that happened that day. So far, they believe the crew had made “incorrect actions” which is likely the primary contributor of the crash!


With Russia experiencing record levels of snowfall for days it would appear that the crew did not turn on the pitot-static heating system which resulted in unreliable airspeed information.


Investigators also have reason to believe that pilot records were forged to show completion when in fact the crew did not complete the checklists as required. As the investigation is still under way we cannot say for definite what caused the crash that day but it just goes to show how important the pre-flight checklists are.


©Mikhail Grigoryev

©Alex Beltyukov


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