Here's what caused the 2016 Flydubai plane crash

A Final Report has been issued by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee

Image of the wreckage of the Boeing 737-800 which crashed in Russia. Image: File
Image of the wreckage of the Boeing 737-800 which crashed in Russia. Image: File

Piloting and loss of “situational awareness” by pilots and bad weather has been cited as factors for the Flydubai crash in 2016.

The Boeing 737-800 was flying from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia on March 19, 2016. Due to a number of factors, the plane crashed with all 62 people on board dying.

A new report from Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee has broken down the factors that contributed to the crash, one of which was crew piloting error and loss of situational awareness.

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Flydubai posted a video explaining the report, going on to say that: “The fatal air accident occurred during the second go-around, due to an incorrect aircraft configuration and crew piloting (and) the subsequent loss of the (commanding pilot’s) situational awareness at night-time,”

Due to turbulent conditions, the plane had to make two go-arounds, the report states “during the second go-around, the captain’s mind-set was focused on landing”.

The report calls this decision “an unconscious cognitive bias to continue with an original plan in spite of changing conditions.”

During the second go-around, it is said the stress of the event may have made all the crew tired. It also said in the final moments of the flight, the captain was experiencing “complete spatial disorientation”. This led him to incorrectly judge key aspects of the flight, such as nose height. 

In its 13 page statement issued on Tuesday, Flydubai said “ambiguity in the manufacturer’s operating manuals led to confusion in the type of go-around being flown,” while it also acknowledged that “it is possible that the captain and the first officer were experiencing operational tiredness at the time of the second go-around which was conducted under intense workload and in turbulent weather”.

The budget airline assures it will use all that has been revealed in this report to help aviation safety around the world and work to prevent human factor-related problems.

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