FILE PHOTO: Emergencies Ministry members work at the crash site of a Boeing 737-800 Flight FZ981 operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, at the airport of Rostov-On-Don, Russia, March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Pilot error and possible disorientation of the crew during bad weather led to the fatal crash in Russia in 2016 of a Flydubai passenger jet, according to a report published by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee on Tuesday.
The Boeing 737-800 from Dubai, operated by the Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, came down in the early hours of March 19, 2016, at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia on its second attempt to land. All 62 people on board died.
“The fatal air accident … occurred during the second go-around, due to an incorrect aircraft configuration and crew piloting (and) the subsequent loss of the (commanding pilot’s) situational awareness at night-time,” the report said.
It said bad weather and dangerous local turbulence known as wind shear were also factors.
“This resulted in a loss of control of the aircraft and its impact with the ground,” it said.
The Boeing 737 was being flown by the captain at the time of the crash, the investigation said.
Addressing one of the most publicised concerns after the crash, the report said the pilots had had enough pre-flight rest, but that the possible “operational” tiredness of the crew as the flight progressed was probably a contributing factor.
The accident involved a Boeing 737-800, the predecessor to the Boeing 737 MAX, which remains grounded after two fatal crashes in the past 13 months. The 737-800 does not contain the MCAS software implicated in those crashes.
Reporting by Tim Hepher and Alexander Marrow; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Kevin Liffey