Another week...

...and another loss of control in-flight accident. FlyDubai 981 crashed last weekend while on the missed approach at Rostov-on-Don Airport, Russia. There was initial speculation that wind shear was a factor, but the aircraft made it up to 4,000 feet at 185 knots before diving back to the ground. With that much energy, a 737-800 could fight its way out of a nasty microburst. The more likely explanation seems to be some combination of spatial disorientation, automation mis-management, and "failure to climb." Fatigue was almost certainly a contributing factor, as they'd been airborne for 6 hours having gone missed at the same airport almost exactly 2 hours prior. In short, no different from what causes general aviation accidents. You can get the radar tracking data here and the ATC recording here (free login may be required). In the recording, you hear the FlyDubai pilots asking several times if the weather has improved. Even the airline guys suffer from get-there-itis. If you have to ask if the weather has improved, it's long since time to put your divert plan into action.

Geoff Rapoport

Safety and Training



Eye Candy

In Other News