Looks like a classic – and fatal – case of pilot error

Readers will recall the crash of an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in Moscow several days ago.  Surveillance video has been released that shows the aircraft trying to land.  It bounces and porpoises several times, in what looks like an abominable display of pilot mishandling, before touching down so hard that it collapses the landing gear.  That started a fire that burned out the rear half of the aircraft, killing 41 of those on board.

Look in the upper right-hand corner of the video to see the plane touch down.

And here’s how it ended up.  WARNING:  Some of the scenes in the video below were taken inside the doomed airliner as it slowed and stopped.  They’re not for the faint-hearted.

May those who died, rest in peace . . . and may Aeroflot choose better pilots, and train them better!



  1. IIRC, they were making an emergency landing after a lightning strike, which had caused problems for the pilots. Entirely possible this was a control issue, not pilot error.

  2. I knew a flight attendant who was on a flight that caught fire on the ground, nothing as serious as this. Those that died on her flight turned right instead of left.

  3. Glad to have flown with ejection seats, with stick and throttle in my own hands. What the passengers went through was too close to hell.

  4. There appears to be a curiously notable lack of emergency firefighting and rescue equipment anywhere close for some good time after it came to rest.

    Collective-mandated vodka break, mayhap.

  5. A Russian dashcam crash site had quite a bit of video on this airliner crash. Released the same day as the crash, I think.

    John Conner, Blayat Productions? He noted that emergency equipment arrived one minute after it came to rest. It appeared that the crews didn't seem to be as well organized as we would expect here.

    One of the pilots climbed out his window to reach the ground, then got assistance to climb up the slide to enter the passenger area to help people to exit the aircraft. I'm guessing the cockpit door was jammed closed, perhaps distortion of the structure. Useful thing to have cockpit windows that open!

  6. In 1999 I was working in Russia and took charter flights from Budapest to Astrakhan. The plane was Russian (a Tupolev) operated by a western company and supposedly had safety equipment upgraded as well.

    The emergency escape was a knotted rope over the exit door.

  7. I read that de-planing was delayed by idiots grabbing carry on luggage.

    I wonder how many got out with bags?

  8. Kristophr:

    if you hunt up the site I mention, you can see video zoomed in on that emergency chute. I think I saw a couple shoulder bags.
    Here, cabin crew have been instructed to ignore bags if/when they get to the chutes, as any interference at that point just slows up the escape process.

    Crew is not going to be patrolling the aisles to admonish people to leave them, their job is to get to the exits to get them ready. The FAA has studied the problem, and has no viable solution.

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