Yesterday’s Awful Aeroflot Crash Landing: 5 Thoughts

Filed Under: Aeroflot, Videos

Yesterday evening an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 had a crash landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. What initially looked to some to be a miracle has quickly turned into a massive tragedy.

While I’m not going to be providing play-by-play coverage of this incident, I did have a few things I wanted to say:

My thoughts are with those who passed

When this first unfolded the general consensus was that this was a happy story. We assumed the plane landed on fire, and initial reports suggested that there were only a handful of injuries, and everyone made it out alive. It sounded like the Russian version of the “miracle on the Hudson.”

Nope, that wasn’t the case at all, sadly. The plane had 78 people onboard (including five crew) and 41 died (including one crew). That’s heartbreaking, and makes all the footage of people escaping the plane all the harder to watch, since we know even more people were left behind.

Just absolutely awful…

The plane didn’t land on fire

The first video footage we saw of the incident suggested that the plane was on fire when it landed, in which case everyone was amazed it did as well as it did. Well, that’s not the case. Instead the plane had a really rough, “bouncy” landing, and at that point it caught fire. There’s even video showing the exact point this happened.

We’ll have to wait to find out exactly what caused that. We do know the plane was overweight when it landed, given that the Sukhoi Superjet can’t dump fuel, and had just taken off from Moscow. However, we don’t know exactly how that factored into what happened.

People didn’t leave their carry-on items behind

Whenever you take a flight you’ll hear an announcement to leave your carry-on items behind in the event of an emergency evacuation. Well, we have video footage of this plane being evacuated, and you know what people aren’t doing? They’re not leaving their carry-on items behind.

I totally understand everyone was probably in complete shock and not thinking straight, but there’s a reason the rule exists. Here’s a case where taking carry-ons could have very well increased the death count.

The goal in an evacuation — especially one where the plane is burning to this degree — is to get everyone out as quickly as possible. Every second counts, and could be the difference between life and death.

It’s awful to think that some fatalities may have been caused by people selfishly taking their belongings with them.

Aeroflot has come a long way with safety

I’ve flown Aeroflot a couple of times, and was very impressed. To some the airline has a bad reputation, and I know a lot of people are hesitant to fly them, though I think that’s largely without merit.

While the airline didn’t have a great safety record back in the day, they’ve come a really long way — prior to this it had been 23 years since they’ve had any sort of fatal accident.

Everything being filmed is a blessing and a curse

It feels like in the past 12 months we’ve seen a lot more fatal accidents than in the years prior. I’m not suggesting anything is wrong with the industry on the whole (well, maybe other than the 737 MAX situation), but rather a series of circumstances have led to this.

The thing is, when fatal accidents happen, there’s not usually any video evidence of it. There’s some wreckage, and that’s it.

In this case we have an accident with dozens of deaths, and there are a countless number of videos of everything that happened. There are videos of the plane landing, videos from inside the plane, videos of the evacuation, etc.

I suppose the silver lining is that all of the videos will help investigators learn from this incident more quickly, but my gosh, in some ways this makes the accident all the worse.

For example, there’s video footage from inside the plane, and you have to think that 41 people in that same place weren’t able to make it out alive, and witnessed all of that as well.

Similarly, during the evacuation you see some people either standing at the exit door, or on the ground after having exited. I would imagine they’re waiting for family and friends who just never made it out.

There’s even footage of a passenger trying to climb back up the slide and into the plane.

Gut-wrenching doesn’t even begin to describe that…

Comments

  1. 🙁 so sad. Thoughts and prayers

    I always have my wallet and passport in my pocket. You don’t need to take your carry on

    Everything else can be replaced. Life can’t

  2. I wish they would introduce laws where people that slow down an evacuation by retrieving their carry ons are prosecuted.

  3. ABC’s “aviation analyst” suggested that the SSJ100 has a poor safety and reliability record. I am not an expert, but I don’t recall a lot of incidents with this type.

  4. It is awful to see some of the surviving passengers carrying their hand luggage. It is a sight often seen in such incidents. However, the plane was evacuated in 55 seconds, so any delay in exiting was minimal. Perhaps the accident was not survivable for those towards the rear. It would be appalling to think that someone may have died as a consequence of another’s desire to get their luggage. But this problem is seen across all cultures/countries: we’ve all heard the message in the safety briefing: “ in case of evacuation leave all cabin luggage behind”, but, at least for some, it doesn’t seem to register.

  5. Don’t you think that the cabin crew are to blame for poorly executed evacuation, including the situation with luggage? I don’t think general public should be expected to act 100% rationally in such a crazy situation, and that’s where the crew has to step in. Unfortunately, it seems like Aeroflot’s crew didn’t do it properly. But Aeroflot made sure to boast on all the state news channels that they managed to evacuate the plane in 55 seconds as opposed to a “standard” of 90 seconds – yeah, we can see the results of such “efficiency”.
    Also, Sheremetyevo airport was a total mess. I mean, the plane has an emergency landing in one of the main Moscow airports, and everyone is just running around with their luggage, climbing back into the plane, standing around near the fire with no assistance or emergency personnel in near sight? What is this? It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.
    I live in Moscow and I am so disgusted by Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo in this situation. Poor people who vanished in this horror.

  6. Too many people died due to the slowdown in evacuation because of the presence of baggage in the cabin and the human impulse to save one’s possessions (including trying to go back on board to save what was left behind).

    You simply cannot change people’s behavior; no matter what you say in the safety demo, they will try to save their stuff. Every single accident shows this. Every single one. And no locking mechanism will ever resist (stay locked) the forces of a crash. There is only one solution: large overhead bins should be reduced in size and all baggage (not small personal belongings) should go in the hold, where it’s out of reach.

    Airlines have gone too far with pushing bags in the cabin and are literally causing people to be killed by their policies. It’s high ime for the FAA (or the more safety inclined regulators, like the Chinese one who was the first to ban the 737 Max) to finallly focus on this very important and recurring safety issue.

    How many more people need to die before action is taken?

  7. @Paolo: the problem is that in a burning aircraft evacuation individual seconds really matter (several key findings have concluded this, see AC189 among others). So while saying the plane was evacuated in 55 seconds sounds good, if it could have been evacuated in 45 or 50 seconds if people didn’t bring their luggage, then that still may have saved lives or avoided injury.

  8. Terrible tragedy. I also wanted to add a couple of thoughts:

    1. I hope we don’t judge people too harshly with the carry on bags. We don’t know what goes on in people’s minds at that point and now as you said everything is on film (i.e. how many times has this happened before?). But I hardly imagine a scenario where people are waiting because someone is trying to pry their bag loose from an overhead cabin..

    2. There has been talk about why fire crews were not next to the runway. I read that firefighters consciously made that decision because it was uncertain in what manner the plane was going to land. Clearly there were control issues (as we see the plane bouncing) so instead of blindly sending 25 fire trucks to within metres of the runway, it seems they decided to wait further away until the plane had come to a stop.

  9. This has nothing to do with Aeroflot as an airline, and everything to do with Russia being unable to build passenger airplanes to western standards. Tupolev 144 (“Concordsky”), Tupolev 154 (Mongolian B 727 10 years after the original, in spite of massive industrial spying), Tupolev 204 a complete commercial failure, and now Sukhoi 100, the nightmare of the few western operators which were sufficienty lobbyed (or bribed) to buy it.

    The truth is that Russia should be no more involved in passenger planes manufacturing than Pakistan in gastronomy.

  10. @ Vanya – no. I think the cabin crew did an excellent job. I’m guessing there were probably only two or three on the regional jet. One died. And it’s clear from the distinct bright orange uniforms that the rest of the crew evacuated right at the last moment possible, after the surviving passengers.

    As crew myself we have no control over idiots grabbing their bags. Our priority is firstly to open those doors. And secondly to shout assertive commands to get passengers to those doors, not hesitate at the open door and get them out. We would likely shout commands like ‘leave all your bags behind’ but if someone approaches the door slide with a bag we aren’t going to waste time standing there having an argument about them taking it. We are going to push them and their bag out the door. We could grab it from them….and then what? Where are we going to put it? Next to the door obscuring further the exit? Throw it out the door and risk damaging the slide?

    The cabin crew did the right thing. It was the selfish passengers that are you blame.

  11. @rakisham – Indeed a false statement by the ABC analyst.

    Looks like officials say most people were overcome by fumes.

    http://tass.com/emergencies/1057077

    Interesting – the rear FA managed to help people out – and looking at the video there is someone up front who pops out helping a crew member leave and doesn’t come back out at the very end. Saw another russian langugage source that said he was overcome by fumes. Which implies he – from the very rear – was able to get to the front.

    http://tass.com/emergencies/1057052

  12. @ Jake:
    I wish I shared your enthusiasm at Chinese regulators being more open that their US counterpart to safety matters. The truth is that the Chines grounding of the MAX, while probably justified in light of what is known today but wasn’t at the time, was just a jab at America in the middle of tense trade negotiations.

  13. @Pierre comparing the Tu144, Tu154, and even Tu204 to the SSJ is irrelevant. The aircraft itself is fine, all the issues with western operators have been because of the fact that it’s Sukhoi’s first commercial aircraft, so they have no experience with supply chains and maintenance & support networks. The aircraft itself has been safe until now. It’s a pity that any incident or accident with a Russian aircraft further reinforces Russophobia in the aviation industry.

    What’s even worse, of course, is the tragic deaths of 41 people in yesterday’s horrible crash, which is what this post and it’s comments are meant to be focused on. I flew out of SVO this morning and went right past the wreckage during the takeoff roll. Truly a sobering sight.

  14. @Pierre Soviet airplane were quite safe. Allmost Tupolev 154 incidents were caused by human errors or external factors (wrong communications between pilots and airports, vehicles on the runway, terrible weather, bombs…) Only fews depended on technical issues. the last tu154 crashes were airplanes owned by small private airlines with low security levels. The last aeroflot tu154 fatal crash was in 1991 and aeroflot used that airplane till 2011.
    tu144 was beautiful but terrible instead….

  15. Overhead bins should be removed from airplanes. Everyone should be forced to check their luggage. If people can’t be trusted to not be selfish and put other people’s lives at risk in the event of an emergency, then just remove the things causing it.

  16. Everyone who is commenting on taking hand luggage; have you ever been in an evacuation? Yeah sure, it looks bad on video but do you really think when you’re in that scenario you’re going to remember an announcement, about taking hand luggage, at the start of the flight. Also, not to mention the large human factor involved that in a situation like that you probably feel like your hand luggage is all you have and you need to save it all, no one will be thinking straight and logically. It’s quite easy to sit here and slater these people but just remember; they almost met their death on that flight.

  17. Also, regarding the crash, i’d be curious as to where the fire cam from as the video of it landing showed the fire started on impact however the wings, containing the fuel, have remained intact and largely survived the fire unlike AA383 where the wings were completely destroyed.

  18. Half the comments — all those saying don’t judge the idiots lugging suitcases too harshly, and praising the Russian rescue efforts and safety record – are from Russian trolls.

    Lucky, your blog is turning into an orange hat.

  19. Crazy shit that no firefighters were waiting right at the runway for that plane. It’s a standard procedure when a pilot declares an emergency, isn’t it?

  20. This jet can’t dump fuel? That seems like a big problem in any type of emergency. As for prosecuting those who possibly slow down the evacuation process with a carryon, what about the elderly, disabled and children – I’m sure they could easily slow it down worse. Next time you board a plane early, just watch who else is boarding, how slow it goes and how long it takes and think about an emergency evacuation. It’s frankly a miracle that half survived this tragedy.

  21. I can’t judge people who take their luggage too harshly, but I still think they should be punished. Of course they don’t pay attention to announcements or remember what to do. But you know what will make them remember? Seeing a new story of someone charged with manslaughter for valuing their luggage over someone else’s life.

  22. @JJJ and @krass, my understanding is that fire crews deliberately held back until the plane was secured on the ground. As you can see, the aircraft was barely in control so instead of blindly sending dozens of fire trucks into the path of an unstable aircraft, they were being strategic about their plan.

  23. Before judging too quickly, think of this scenario: I carry a very small backpack on the plane when I travel and store it under the seat in front of me during the flight. I have it ready to go on my lap when we land. So, just throwing it out there, in case of an emergency someone who may have had their small carryon (obviously not a roller bag) already on their person, wouldn’t have slowed anybody behind them down.

  24. You read the various stories and one (bbc.com) mentioned the plane was on its 3rd landing attempt which seems strange since the flight path looks like it only shows 2.

    People are short sighted and FAs can’t be fighting with them to leave baggage behind since that will waste even more time.

    I was at a crowded Brussels Airport where most people were late arriving due to snow and we were trying to get to a connection but people didn’t want to stand in line. They all thought they deserved priority because they were late. Well, almost everyone was arriving late. I can’t imagine behavior is any different in an emergency. You have the idiots, you have the greedy people, the panicking people and then those who often give up their lives helping others, even though it isn’t their job to do so.

    I do think the emergency would have been handled differently in the US and other countries and the fire gear would have arrived sooner. Just my opinion.

  25. @Paolo Incorrect. Less than 50% of the plane was evacuated in 55 seconds. More than 50% was never evacuated. If everyone had left their carry ones and ran for the doors as they should, maybe 100% would have gotten out in 55 seconds.

    Count me as one of those who wants to see hefty penalties and even jail time for taking one’s belongings during an evacuation, even when there are no deaths.

  26. How about a $10K USD fine for carrying hand luggage out of an aircraft door during a declared emergency evacuation? I think that’s reasonable and reasonably enforceable, and I could see such a fine effectively making people value their hand luggage less during an evacuation.

  27. I’d like to ask an honest question. What happens if you lose all your documents such as passport (and in my case US Permanent Resident Card) because the plane you are on crashes and you can’t retrieve your carry on. Would the British Embassy take care of me or would I just be stuck. In this case if I could grab my carry on within a few seconds I would.

  28. The people carrying bags off the plane should face prison time if it can be proven that their actions notably contributed to the deaths of other passengers. Their possessions are not more valuable than someone else’s life. If they want their things so badly, they can remain aboard until desperate people fleeing for their lives have exited the plane.

  29. @Pierre – dude, you need to eat some food from Pakistan. As long as you love meat, it’s incredible.

  30. @mr g why not ask the consul ? They generally do arrange for a temporary document to repatriate people and are notified of emergency situations such as natural disasters etc

    Furthermore saying you would grab your carry on is selfish and dangerous

    Wtf not place your passport in your pocket or does it take up your entire cabin bag ?

  31. @ Alex and Marco TD

    As a a russophone who traveled on all those types (except TU 144), I cannot be called a russophobe. For the SSJ to be unable to dump fuel is clear proof of how far they still have to go… (Not that installing stealth software on the B737 Max is much better). The IL62 could only be flown by athletic pilots because lift off and moving surfaces were only actuated by sheer muscular strength via cables and pulleys (not to mention wing leading edges looking like designed by a sci-fi artist.

    Back to the SSJ, the only two significant western buyers, Mexico’s Interjet and Ireland’s Cityjet cannot wait to getr rid of them, with Cityjet leasing some to Brussels Airlines for almost nothing and SN still canceling the deal after 2 months.

    Even CUBANA doesn’t want them and they cannot really afford to be difficult. I suppose that Venezuela would reject them too if they still had an airline.

  32. Even if we have locks on the overhead bins, people will be tempted to take luggage under their seat. Looking at these images, likely due to the fire, we don’t see people trying to take rollerboards off like we have in some evacuations. The problem is that not only are people selfish when it comes to taking carry-ons off, in a fiery situation like this they are risking their own lives. Imagine if the inferno had grown much faster! Getting people to not be selfish is really hard, but when they’re willing to risk their own lives for material items, policing that kind of behavior in advance is going to be near impossible. I’d like to see very harsh punishments for those that do take their luggage off. I don’t think negligent manslaughter charges should be out of question in an accident where passengers perish and others took off belongings. Large fines too. And you should certainly be banned from flying for life. Even so, that’s not going to stop idiots being idiots 🙁

  33. @ Alex and Marco TD

    As a russophone who flew in all those type (except the TU 144), I cannot really be called a russophobe. The TU 134 which had emercency exists too small for any normal body, the IL 62 which could only be flown by athletes since lift off and moving surfaces were only actuated by human strenth via cables and pulleys, the IL 86 which “danced its way” along the glidescope as it could not maintain the JFK approach speed… The TU 204 which was a crushing commercial failure… etc…

    This brings us to the Sukhoi SSJ with its inability to dump fuel and its endless problems which made it totally unsuitable for the two western airlines lobbied or bribed hard enough to buy it, Mexico’s Interjet and Ireland’s Cityjet. Cityjet tried to lease them out to Brussels Airlines but it lasted one month. They are now with Adria who stored them (all…). Interjet has been trying to GIVE them to Cubana, but even THEY do not want them.. and they cannot afford to be difficult.

    I am not suggesting that there are no problems with Western manufacturers (Stealth software in the MAX, anyone ?) but Russia is an Aviation white elephant not always recognized as such.
    Things are different with military aircraft because they do not have to be economically viable.

    And…Marco, Statistics do not lie: Russia’ incident numbers are 4-5 times those of the West, on par with… Africa.

  34. passport, wallet, phone in your pocket, and shoes on your feet, for take off and landing. once you’re up, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.

    if you fall out of the sky at cruise, it’s not going to matter anyway.

  35. > “It sounded like the Russian version of the “miracle on the Hudson.”

    Well, “miracle on the Hudson” is already well-known as the American version of Russian 1963 “miracle on Neva”, albeit Chesley “Mostovoyski” Sullenberger did not have to deal with the abundance of bridges. So, referring to something as “Russian version of the “miracle on the Hudson” would be unnecessarily circular.

  36. @Pierre;

    Statistics might not lie, but you seem inclined to. There’s no statistical data to support such nonsensical claims as “Russia’ incident numbers are 4-5 times those of the West”.

  37. @Not Lucky I agree with you. I travel very, very frequently and this is my routine. I never indulge in putting the slippers on until we are at cruise. And I specifically keep my phone in my pocket and NOT in my hand for take-off and landing. Regarding Russian planes etc, the currently corrupt Russian Oligarchic society leads to problems everywhere. In this tragic case, certifying a plane that cannot dump fuel in an emergency is as deeply disturbing as certifying the 737MAX with improperly positioned engines and faulty software that no one knew about. Unfortunately, America has devolved into a society not so different than Russia. Greed works in many ways and in these cases with truly tragic results.

  38. I think what happened was when the plane touched down hard after the first bounce, the rear landing gear completely collapsed which might have caused the gear to puncture the fuel tanks, or the fire may have been caused by the massive tailstrike. Just a theory, I don’t know the mechanics of this plane.

  39. @duck ling they did not do an excellent job. Passengers reports state that the evacuation for the first rows, at least, was carried out almost like a regular arrival. Like, leave the aircraft, but don’t really rush it, take your time. People say that took bags and walked in regular speed because they did not think they were in that much danger, and the crew never informed them.
    So please don’t try to pass this atrocity and 41 deaths as an excellent job by Aeroflot and their crew. They failed miserably, and these deaths are partly on them.
    @Pierre are you serious? Sure, the airline has no responsibility for the airplanes they operate (and the ways they operate them – that includes not landing them like a sardine can). Russian airplane industry is simply embarrassing at this moment, but shifting blame from Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo is not right.

  40. To paraphrase Icarus : Your lives can not be replaced , everything else is replaceable . If you need to evacuate don’t waste one second for your carryon or anything else . Get out of the plane!

    The smoke will kill you in no time , I think less than a minute .

  41. Also, how about smoke hood regulations, requiring smoke hoods next to flotation aids at each seat? Has that idea been rejected for some reason I can’t think of?

  42. First, let me say that ALL quotes from Wikipedia should be taken with additional grains of salt. So, with that said, according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Superjet_100):

    DEPENDABILITY:
    — “By March 2012, the six aircraft operated by Aeroflot were flying 3.9 hours/day instead of the standard 8-9 hours due to failures and parts delivery delays, and the airline asked for compensation. In August 2012, Armavia announced that it had returned both of its SSJ100s to the manufacturer. Armavia then avoided further deliveries. In February 2013, Sukhoi stated teething problems are usual in new airliners.” [footnotes omitted.]

    — “On 24 December 2016, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency grounded seven jets after a tail component of an IrAero SSJ100 showed metal fatigue, leading Sukhoi to inspect the entire fleet.”

    — “In January 2018, Bloomberg reported that four of Interjet’s 22 SSJ100s were being cannibalised for parts to keep others running after having been grounded for at least five months because of SaM146 maintenance delays. This was later refuted by Interjet. One grounded SSJ100 was due to be back in service on 19 January 2018 and the remaining three in March.” [footnotes omitted.]

    — “In August 2018, Russian regional carrier Yakutia Airlines considered withdrawing their SSJs, after two were grounded because their engines were removed after 1,500-3,000 cycles, below the 7,000 specified, and no replacements were available.”

    — “In September 2018, Interjet was reported to be considering replacing its SSJ100s with Airbus A320neos, to make better use of its slots, with the SSJ technical problems possibly also a factor. On 12 September, Interjet denied the report. It was later reported that Interjet intends to phase out some of its Superjets and take 20 more Airbus A320neos, maybe alongside newer Superjet deliveries; it will have access to an enhanced SSJ spares inventory in Mexico City and is installing a flight simulator in Toluca. The updated SSJs would have winglets, a higher MTOW and improved systems and interior. Sukhoi has also proposed to increase the cabin density from 93 to 108 seats by reducing the pitch from 34 to 30 in.” [footnotes omitted.]

    — “By then, Brussels Airlines was seeking alternatives for its four SSJ100s wet-leased from CityJet until March 2019, as teething problems affected their reliability. By February 2019, CityJet’s remaining five SSJ100s stood idle and were expected to be transferred to Slovenia’s Adria Airways, which committed for 15 in late 2018, though Adria subsequently cancelled its order in April 2019.”

    — “As of March 2019, 15 of Interjet’s 22 SSJs were out of service. Talks with Sukhoi were deadlocked, with Interjet reportedly unwilling to pay for repairs to the PowerJet SaM146 engines. Interjet’s reliability issues are compounded by the lack of service facilities for the SSJ, a factor which also contributed to the poor reliability recorded by CityJet.”

  43. > … given that the Sukhoi Superjet can’t dump fuel …

    Well, it should be noted that virtually no modern regional jet can dump fuel. Fuel dumping systems are typically installed only on long-range aircraft, which initially carry massive amounts of fuel. Regional jets can reduce their fuel weight into the range appropriate for landing rather quickly by simply burning it off.

  44. A few inaccuracies in the blogpost. SSJ can dump fuel but did not as it was on top of a major city – Moscow.
    Secondly the lightning strike took out the radio so the SSJ pilot could do minimal conversation with ATC including knowing if he i going to land or crashland. Fire engines stayed close but not so close that a crashing plane could take them out.
    The pilots did not know what else damage the lightning strike had done so circling the city to burn fuel was not an option so they tried to land overweight and failed.
    Technically its pilot error but its difficult to land overweight and many pilots could have made the same error

  45. Simple solution A fine and lifetime ban from ever flying commercial if you take your carry on bags with you during an evacuation. If anyone dies because they didn’t get out, then all that carried belongings be charged with manslaughter and made to make restitution to the families of those who died.

  46. dan suggests a fine and lifetime ban for anyone who brings luggage during evacuation . Also manslaughter if someone dies because they can’t get out of the plane soon enough . I believe the cause and effect of luggage causing death could be argued endlessly . An easier to enforce deterrent would be a significant , mandatory fine for bringing any carry ons .This should be easier to enforce especially if there is video . The offence would come under not following flight crew instructions during emergency . About $10,000 would get most peoples attention .

  47. Concerning the luggage thing:
    Some people tend to react TOTALLY irrational in traumatic situations like this. Ask a fireman – they will have hundreds examples of that.
    I have heard stories of survivors of horrible automotive accidents clutching to seperated tires etc. and not wanting to let go for the life of them. I guess these items are sort of an “anchor” for the brain in these chaotic moments.
    Grabbing your purse and bag might just be an example of that.

  48. RT, Russian Television, reported last about an “overweight man” in 10C blocking the aisle as he retrieved his back pack. Also reported that all passengers behind row 10 perished including one male FA who tried unsuccessfully to open the rear door. This man was seen leaving the airport surrounded by reporters with his pack back. He was complaining about how we was treated by Aeroflot including not being given a refund. An investigation continues as to his part in this tragedy. I live in Moscow so am close to the news.

  49. @Boris I read the same story. A large middle-aged man who was photographed carrying his backpack and (according to reporters) was as mad as hell because Aeroflot had not immediately committed to giving him a refund for the flight. The guy was dumb enough to volunteer this info to the reporters specifically (he even said he rang to request the request the refund almost as soon as he got off the plane).

    I heard the same info that nobody from row 11 or behind got out alive but I guess we’ll have to wait to find out the full details.

  50. Pressure state – lightning strikes -hail furrys the fog, turn around sitting still,flown down -Voice is Void- Commanders Lead. Confusion- Uncertainty-Anger fuels ” the Great Fear” Slammed Screams Booms Bounce Screetching Horror Ignites outside in secret of sights- behind under over Boiling Toxic Fumes fill the cabins air. Poisoned minds trapped from reality- Blazing Truth of Hells Fire Flaming just outside those 2 doors! I can not believe these Surviving people were even remotely AWARE of the Severity Of Situation. Just maybe” baggage” was the only sorce of Hope left to cling onto- UNTIL the Light of Truth was in VIEW. My attempts to understand coat on arm rolling my bag O’Shit Hearing the screams ” I WANT MOMMY” yet left still BEHIND……. Certainly there must be more to be given to Surving Victims than I can Comprehend. Grieving tears thoughts n prayers for the mothers/ family of these children that were taken directly into Heaven thru this tragic loss .Prayers to ALL the families in need of comfort and peace in this hour of overwhelming sorrow.

  51. Two big issues.

    1. Slow fire response. Even if they did not declare emergency or declared it late, any overweight landing especially with other contributing factors (loss of comm, technical difficulties) REQUIRES firetrucks to be waiting by the runway and following aircraft after touchdown. If nothing else just to check breaks and make sure everything is OK. I had one overweight and two flapless landings on commercial flights in US and Mexico and in all cases the fire trucks were by the aircraft seconds after we stopped.

    2. Looking at touchdown video, it looks like bad piloting. We will learn later if there were contributing factors, such as technical problems,l with SSJ, but not-so-overweight landing in direct law is something which should be practiced. Why no go around if approach was not stable, why no go around after first bounce, why push noise down after second bounce?

  52. I’ve flown Aeroflot before after they seemed to stop using Tupolev 154. Would not have flown in that aircraft.

    The airplane I was on was clean and appeared to be well maintained. What shocked me was on my first Aeroflot landing in St. Petersburg. Right as the wheels touched down, the Russian passengers immediately unbuckled, got up to get their bags and began to queue in the aisles. The aircraft had barely slowed down and we were still hurtling forward on an active runway with the reverse thrusters and brakes heaving the plane to a slow. The flight attendants said nothing. I looked at my colleague in disbelief and she said, “That’s Russia”.

  53. Can we please take a deep breath before running to all sorts of conclusions – something many seem particularly willing to because of this being a RUSSIAN plane crashing in Moscow?

    There is one – ONE – person carrying a suitcase off the plane. One too many, yes, but one person only. Then there is one person carrying a jacket – and a lady who seems to be carrying her handbag.

    My understanding is also that the pilots had not actually requested an emergency landing, which explains the initial lack of response.

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