A pilots of the stricken AN-148 plane which crashed killing all 71 on board reported technical problems before takeoff, it was revealed today.
The Antonov later nosedived and exploded on the ground after leaving from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport to Orsk on Sunday.
By this morning, some 1,489 fragments of bodies and 498 aircraft wreckage pieces were found in macabre searches by investigators, said an official from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
Mystery surrounds the cause of the crash but experts have now played down the idea that it was the result of a terrorist attack. The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee said today it may have been caused by ice on speed probes which led to faulty information on the craft’s airspeed.
This morning it emerged that the flight deck crew, Captain Valery Gubanov, 51, and co-pilot Sergey Gambaryan, 44, reported ‘we have problems’ before taxiing onto the runway.
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The pilots of the stricken AN-148 plane which crashed killing all 71 on board reported technical problems moments before takeoff, it was revealed today. Pictured: Captain Valery Gubanov (right), 51, and co-pilot Sergey Gambaryan, 44 (left)
By this morning, some 1,489 fragments of bodies and 498 aircraft wreckage pieces were found in macabre searches by investigators, said an official from the Russian Emergencies Ministry
Experts remain uncertain about the cause of the crash but have played down the idea that it was the result of a terrorist attack
Daria Tolmasova, 22, the fiancée of Vladivostok ice hockey star Sergey Ilyin, was among the dead
Disturbing CCTV footage appears to show the devastating moment the Russian passenger plane crashed near Moscow on Sunday, killing all 71 people aboard and scattering jagged chunks of wreckage across a snowy field
It is clear from a leak purporting to show exchanges with air traffic control that the crew called the Saratov Airlines technical team over an unspecified issue at the last minute.
The glitch was serious enough for the captain to contemplate refusing his takeoff slot, although in the end he did not do so.
One of the pilots warned as he was being given takeoff instructions from the control tower: ‘In a couple of minutes. We contact the technical team, we have problems.
‘Literally in a minute we’ll tell you, whether we taxi to the stand, or we taxi out.’
The wording implies the plane had already pushed back from the stand when this exchange took place.
‘Thank you, goodbye’: The key exchanges between pilots and air traffic control
The pilots of the stricken AN-148 plane which crashed killing all 71 on board reported technical problems moments before takeoff. Here are some of the key exchanges with air traffic control:
Crew: ‘To the right 1200, pressure 998.’
Control Tower: ‘703, the Domodedovo-circle. Good afternoon. Take the flight level 60’
Crew: ‘We choose the flight level 60, the parameter of systems 03.’
Crew: ‘In a couple of minutes. We contact the technical team, we have problems. Literally in a minute we’ll tell you, whether we taxi to the stand, or we taxi out.’
Control Tower: ‘551, Domodedovo-circle, hello. Left positions are given, the course ‘Delta Kilo for the interval, initially take 800 metres, ahead in passing and above.’
Crew: ‘To the left on Delta-Kilo we take 800 metres.’
Control Tower: ‘To the right on Delta-Kilo, take 800. Did you understand correctly … 551?’
Crew: ‘With the right turn to the Delta-Kilo, take 800 metres. We are taking the flight level 130, 134, …. Thank you, bye.’
Emergency workers explore the site of a AN-148 plane crash in Stepanovskoye village, about 25 miles from the Domodedovo airport. Emergency teams combed the snowy fields outside Moscow on Monday, searching for debris
Discovery: A flight recorder found at the crash site of a Saratov Airlines Antonov An-148 flight in Moscow Region
Russian rescuers worked at the crash site yesterday as they searched for clues in the wake of the tragedy
Other passengers named among the victims of the plane crash include 28-year-old Ulyana Son (pictured)
Another victim Tatiana Sinitsyna was heading to Orsk via Moscow from Turkey where her daughter and little granddaughter lived
Among the victims was 33-year-old Ilya Slavsky (pictured). Experts said today that the crash may have been caused by the collapse of the plane’s anti-icing system leading to possible ice in the engine
Air traffic control did not appear to acknowledge their warning, and later exchanges – all in Russian – show the pilots proceeding to takeoff as if they had resolved their concerns.
The final words from the flight deck were: ‘Thank you, bye.’
The exchanges appear at odds with earlier assurances from the airline that there was nothing amiss in the plane’s preparations for takeoff.
The Investigative Committee, in charge of the a criminal probe into the crash, also denied that the pilots had reported problems to the control tower.
Overhead images show the crash site – and reveal how little of the aircraft remained intact after it smashed down in a fireball on Sunday
Nadezhda Krasova, five, the youngest victim in the crash, died along with her mother Oksana Krasova (pictured together)
Flight crew member Anastasia Slavinskaya, 29, (left) and second pilot Sergey Gambaryan, 34, both died in the plane crash
Several other children were killed in the crash, including 12-year-old Evgeny Livanov (pictured) and Ilya Poletayev, 17
Stewardess Viktoria Koval, 21, (pictured) was also killed while she was working on Sunday morning
Ilya Poletayev, 17, (pictured) was on the plane when it came down and crashed in a field
Lyudmila Kovchuga (pictured) was one of the 71 people who boarded the plane in Moscow today
Kriskentia Alexeenko, 25, (right) and Ulyana Son, 28, (left) were also killed after boarding the doomed plane
The plane came down in Argunovo (pictured) shortly after taking off from Moscow on Sunday
Independent technical expert Yuri Antipov was quoted by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper as saying: ‘This is the pilot who is talking about technical problems.
‘The same person then reports that they will decide whether to taxi or not.
‘So, there were technical problems in the plane right before take-off.’
He added: ‘It was before taxiing onto the runway, when the crew checks – according to the established regulations – the operability of all systems.
‘By the way, it is known that one of the passengers sent a text message to a relative: ‘We are standing for a long time, we do not take off’.
‘This also indicates that problems were found on the ground.
‘But after some time the pilots thought that they had solved this problem, that’s why they went to takeoff.’
Flight 6W703 went missing just minutes after tasking off from Domodedovo Airport (pictured)
The Antonov An-148 plane (stock image) came down less than 10 minutes after taking off from Moscow
DISASTERS THAT HAVE BEFALLEN RUSSIAN AIRLINERS
– Feb. 11, 2017: An Antonov-148 regional jet operated by Saratov Airlines crashes shortly after take-off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport with 71 passengers and crew aboard. No survivors are reported.
– Dec. 25, 2016: A Tupolev-154 operated by the Russian Defense Ministry en route to Syria crashes into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from Sochi. All 92 people on board are believed dead and the cause of the crash isn’t immediately known.
– Oct. 31, 2015: An onboard bomb destroys a Metrojet airliner soon after its takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm al-Sheikh resort. All 224 people on board die.
– Nov. 17, 2013: All 50 people aboard a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 are killed when the crew sends the plane into a steep dive while trying to land in Kazan.
– May 10, 2012: A Sukhoi Superjet on a demonstration flight for potential buyers smashes into a volcano in Indonesia while carrying 45 people. There are no survivors.
– April 2, 2012: A UTAir ATR-72 crashes shortly after takeoff from Tyumen; 33 are killed, 10 survive. Poor de-icing of the plane is blamed.
– Sept. 7, 2011: A Yakovev-42 carrying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team crashes soon after takeoff from Yaroslavl, killing all 44 aboard.
– June 20, 2011: Forty-seven people die when a Tu-134 crashes on a highway in heavy fog while trying to land in Petrozavodsk.
– Sept. 14, 2008: 88 people are killed when a Boeing 737 flying from Moscow crashes as it prepares to land in Perm.
– Aug. 22, 2006: A Tu-154 of Russia’s Pulkovo Airlines crashes in Ukraine. All 170 people on board are killed.
– July 9, 2006: An A310 belonging to Russian company S7 skids off the runway after landing in Irkutsk and bursts into flames. All 125 aboard killed.
– April 24, 2004: 90 people are killed when female suicide bombers blow up two Russian airliners after takeoff from Domodedovo. Chechen rebels claim responsibility.