Dagestan Airlines Flight 372
The aircraft involved in the accident is seen here at Vnukovo International Airport in January 2010.
|Date||December 4, 2010|
|Summary||Crew error, fuel starvation|
|Site||Domodedovo International Airport, Domodedovsky District, Moscow Oblast, Russia
|Aircraft type||Tupolev Tu-154M|
|Flight origin||Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow|
|Destination||Uytash Airport, Makhachkala|
Dagestan Airlines Flight 372 was a scheduled commercial flight between Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow and Uytash Airport, Makhachkala. On December 4, 2010 a Tupolev Tu-154M, with registration RA-85744 operating the flight skidded off the runway following an emergency landing at Domodedovo International Airport, 45 km south-east of Vnukovo. Two people on board were killed.
The aircraft operating the flight was a Tupolev Tu-154M, registered RA-85744,cn: 92A-927. It had been built in 1992, and was equipped with three Soloviev D-30KU jet engines for propulsion. The aircraft had been completely overhauled in 2009, and met all relevant European safety standards, as it had been used for the transport of the Belgium national football (soccer) team in November 2010, a flight which required it to meet European regulations.
The plane was flying a scheduled trip from Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow to Uytash Airport in Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan. Two of the aircraft's three engines failed shortly after it took off from Vnukovo Airport at 14:07 local time (11:07 UTC); the pilots reported the loss of engines when the aircraft was at a height of around 9,100 metres (29,900 ft). An emergency landing at Domodedovo International Airport was requested, and as the aircraft was in the process of landing, the third engine failed. The aircraft approached runway 32R from the right at almost right angles, overflying the threshold before turning right at 500 metres (1,600 ft) to the left of the runway and crossing over the runway, flying parallel with but to the right of the runway. The aircraft touched down 88 metres (289 ft) to the right of the runway centerline, and only 350 metres (1,150 ft) short of the end, about a half hour after its departure, landing in conditions of freezing rain.
The landing caused the plane to sustain major damage, and it was written off shortly after the incident. A passenger on board the plane said that the aircraft broke into three parts after landing. Later reports said that both the cockpit and vertical stabilizer had separated from the aircraft, and that the wings and undercarriage had both been damaged.
The emergency landing resulted in 87 people injured and two fatalities. Initial reports from the Russian ministry in charge of emergency situations had said that only 40 had been injured. The number of total injuries was later raised to 56, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development.
One of the two dead was Gadzhimurad Magomedov, the brother of Magomedsalam Magomedov, the president of Dagestan. The other (died of heart attack) was mother of a judge of the Constitutional Court of Russia.
The number of people on board the plane was unclear; early reports said that between 163 and 172 people were on board, but a number of 168, eight of which were crew members, was later settled on.
Russian authorities dispatched investigators to the site of the emergency landing, classifying the investigation as a "criminal probe," according to the Russian Investigative Committee. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika was said to be "keeping a watchful eye" over the proceedings. Several hours after the incident occurred, the lead prosecutor in the investigation said that the preliminary results suggested a bird strike was responsible for the loss of engines.
By the day after the incident, investigators had recovered the flight data recorder and a second data storing device, but had not located the cockpit voice recorder. The Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) said that it had begun analysis of both recovered devices, which were said to be in "satisfactory condition." Analysis of the flight data recorder showed that eight minutes after the aircraft took off, at an altitude of 6,500 metres (21,300 ft), the fuel supply to the engines fluctuated, and as the aircraft passed 9,000 metres (30,000 ft), the outer two engines shut down. The crew at this point began a descent towards Domodedovo Airport. The center engine had a "period of instability," but its normal status was "restored and maintained" until the aircraft's landing. The MAK said it was unclear what caused the shut-down of the two engines, though the fuel supply at Vnukovo Airport was confirmed to meet standards.
On 10 December 2010, the MAK announced that it had located the cockpit voice recorder, analysis of which was planned to begin immediately.
On 1 April 2011, investigators announced that poor fuel quality had been ruled out as a cause of the crash, despite instrument readings that indicated issues with the fuel supply before the aircraft crashed.
On 26 September 2011, the MAK released its report into the incident, concluding that the cause was the flight engineer accidentally shutting off a fuel pump while transferring fuel. As a result, fuel consumption fluctuated, leading to unusual altitude and engine readings before the outer two engines shut down. At this point, the crew chose to bring the plane to Domodedovo Airport. The report said that the crew had not used all available options to deal with the loss of engine power, and had not followed procedures for landing with two nonfunctional engines. The report also noted that the crew had not been sufficiently trained to deal with the situation.
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|RA-85744 at Airliners.net|
- "Аварийная посадка в Аэропорту "Домодедово"" – Dagestan Airlines (Russian) (Archive)
- "Информация о госпитализированных пассажирах рейса 372 Внуково – Минеральные Воды «Дагестанских авиалиний»." Ministry of Health and Social Development (Russian)
- "Tу-154М RA-85744 04.12.2010." Interstate Aviation Committee (Russian) (Archive)