MAK says the FlyDubai Pilots got into a fatal nosedive and couldn’t get out

Friday, April 8, 2016
By George Hatcher

The Interstate Aviation Committee investigation of the Boeing 737-800 registered A6-FDN operated by FlyDubai has updated their report. The information below is directly from that report.

Mak indicated in a press release that two dimensional aircraft mockups and selected assemblies and units were examined to check the longitudinal control system operability. The units were delivered to the Interstate Aviation Committee, their condition assessed. Operation reports of weather, wreckage, Air Traffic Control, avionics, powerplants, structures and systems were prepared and reviewed.

Airport Weather

The weather information examination has revealed that the actual weather at Rostov-on-Don Airport at the time of the accident was consistent with the weather forecast. The weather measuring equipment used for weather observations at Rostov-on-Don Airport was calibrated, operable and functional. The weather information service provided to the FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 registered A6-FDN conducting Flight FDB981 Dubai – Rostov-on-Don – Dubai that crashed while landing at Rostov-on-Don Airport was in compliance with the applicable regulations and manuals.

Preliminary Flight Data Analysis

Preliminary flight data analysis indicates the crew was approaching to land manually with autopilot disconnected, in difficult weather conditions; cloud base was at 630 meters, wind 230 degrees 13 meters per second maximum 18 meters per second, light shower rain, mist, severe turbulence on straight-on and moderate windshear.

On the initial approach at 22:42 UTC at a height of 340 meters, after getting a windshear alert, the crew decided to go around, and then continued on holding pattern waiting for improved weather conditions.

On a second, manual approach, the crew decided to go around again at a height of 220 meters 4 km before the runway, and initiated climb setting the engine to takeoff thrust. At a height of 900 m there was a simultaneous control column nose down input and stabilizer 5-degree nose down deflection, resulting in abrupt descent with negative vertical acceleration of -1g. The following crew actions to recover did not allow to avoid an impact with the ground. The impact occurred with a speed of over 600 km/h over 50 degrees nose down.

The IAC is in the process of reproducing the circumstances of the accident. 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. The involved pilots were holding valid pilot licenses and other pertinent papers, had undergone required training and had sufficient flight experience.

Transcript of two hours of cockpit voice recorder data is being completed. The investigative team is planning to engage investigators from the UAE, the USA and Spain to proceed at the IAC laboratory with clarifying the content of the CVR transcript, translating it from English and Spanish and identifying the speakers.

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