Pilot error was to be blamed for last month’s crash of Flydubai flight FZ981, Russia’s civil aviation authority said Friday in its first investigation report. All 62 people on board were killed after the plane went down in southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
The Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which is investigating the crash, said in a statement that the Boeing 737-800 crashed after being flown in a contradictory manner minutes before it smashed into the ground. The plane crashed while making a second attempt to land in poor weather conditions after flying from Dubai.
"A preliminary flight data analysis has revealed that the crew was approaching to land manually (autopilot disconnected) in difficult weather conditions. In the course of the initial approach… at a height of 340 meters, after getting a windshear (abrupt change in wind speed and direction) alert, the crew decided to go around and then continued on holding pattern waiting for improved weather conditions," the report said, according to Sputnik News.
IAC also said the investigation into the March 19 crash is ongoing, and officials are completing work on deciphering the pilots' final conversations in the hours leading up to the crash.
Both airline pilots and test-pilots from the Russian Federation, the USA and the UAE have been engaged in the investigation to assess the status and actions of the crew. According to the available information, the involved pilots were holding valid pilot licenses and other pertinent papers, had undergone required training and had sufficient flight experience," the report added.
Last month, a former Flydubai captain told RT News that the Flydubai jet crash was inevitable as the pilot was “worked to death” by the airliner. The ex-pilot also claimed that Flydubai’s top management was aware that pilots were being overworked as several complaints were made to the authorities.