It is, of course, way too early to know the cause of the crash of a Dubai airliner in Russia last night, but the final moments of the flight will provide some information. The flight recorders have been recovered and it shouldn’t be too difficult for investigators to come up with a theory pretty quickly.
“Different versions of what happened are being looked into, including crew error, a technical failure and bad weather conditions,” the Russian investing committee.
The weather in the area around the airport was quite bad, according to the tapes of the communications between the pilot and air traffic controllers.
We rarely see what a plane crash looks like. This crash is an exception, although CNN has not been able to independently confirm that the video is that of the airliner. The angle at which it approaches the ground is quite unusual, particularly since there were no distress calls in the above transmissions.
If it is legitimate video, that’s not a plane trying to land; that’s a plane that’s already out of control.
“It was an uncontrollable fall,” Sergei Kruglikov, a veteran Russian pilot, said on Russian state television. Gulf News reported that Kruglikov suggested a sudden change in wind speed and direction could have caused the wings to abruptly lose their lifting power.
It reported that winds at 2,000 feet were at hurricane force while they were much calmer at the surface. The pilots had already circled for several hours before attempting to land.
Given those conditions alone, in the United States the pilots would’ve diverted to another airport.