Airline Disowned By Russian Flag Carrier, Now Goes By Former
Investigators said Thursday that
both engines on a Russian airliner crashed Sunday in the Ural
Mountains were operating at time of impact... contradicting early
witness reports stating one of the engines was on fire.
The Associated Press reports Russia's Interstate Aviation
Committee found no signs of an engine fire in the wreckage of the
Boeing 737-500, which crashed as it approached to land in the city
of Perm. The accident killed all 88 people onboard the
"There is no indication of an engine fire or the aircraft
breaking up in the air," said the investigatory committee. "Both
engines were working until the plane hit the ground."
Having ruled out an apparent engine problem, the focus of the
investigation has shifted to an air traffic controller's claims the
737's pilot acted strangely in the moments leading up to the
Irek Bikbov told Russia's Channel One network earlier this week
the pilot disobeyed instructions as the plane was on final approach
to land in Perm.
As ANN reported, Bikbov says the 737 climbed
after he told the pilot to descend, and that the aircraft turn in
the wrong direction after going missed on the first approach. The
jet crashed shortly after.
The pilot, whose name has not been released, reportedly told
Bikbov all was normal onboard the plane. Investigators hope the
plane's cockpit voice and data recorders -- both heavily
damaged in the fiery crash -- may still shed light on what was
happening in the cockpit during the flight's final moments.
The Barents Observer reports the accident aircraft was 17 years
old, and had previously been owned by an unnamed Chinese
In related news, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot disowned its
former subsidiary Monday, less than 24 hours after the accident.
The airline is now known as Arkhangelsk Airlines (AVL), its former
name before Aeroflot absorbed the regional airline in 2004.
Aeroflot maintains the decision to cut AVL loose was made last
week, prior to the accident. The carrier now faces an uncertain
future; the Aeroflot-Nord Web site does not reflect the name change
as of yet.