Bad brakes cited in Moscow crash landing
By Dmitry Zaks ,AFPMOSCOW -- Russian investigators on Sunday blamed a defective brake system for a Moscow airport crash that killed five crew members when a liner skidded off the runway and smashed into a highway.
December 31, 2012, 12:12 am TWN
Rescue workers recovered the flight recorders from the four-year-old Tu-204 of tycoon Alexander Lebedev's Red Wings airlines late Saturday as Russia began mourning its latest post-Soviet crash fatalities.
“The plane touched down in the proper landing area but for some reason was unable to stop on the strip,” Federal Air Transport Agency chief Alexander Neradko said in televised remarks.
“According to preliminary data, the pilots used all the brake systems available on the plane,” an unidentified investigator told the Interfax news agency.
“But for some reason, the aircraft failed to stop and continued moving” down the runway. “Most likely, the cause was defective reverse engines or brakes.”
Red Wings said a flight attendant died of her injuries on Sunday to bring the toll to five. Three others were recovering in stable condition.
Greater loss of life was averted only because the 210-seat liner was empty except for the eight crew returning from a charter flight to the Czech Republic.
Cellphone footage of the accident posted online showed chunks of debris hurtling over the highway and crashing into cars whose drivers had to swerve and make emergency stops.
The jet split into three pieces and required the temporary shutdown of both the Kiev Highway and Vnukovo — Moscow's third largest airport and the site of a special terminal for Kremlin officials.
Red Wings owner Lebedev — a billionaire famous for his critical view of the Kremlin and his ownership of the London Evening Standard and The Independent in Britain — said the jet had recently passed a meticulous check.