inspections of budget airlines following the deadly crash of a FlyDubai
plane in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, the TASS news
agency reported Wednesday, citing the agency’s deputy chief.
The official, Vladimir Chertok, told TASS that his agency “constantly
inspects all airlines, it’s just that in this case we have intensified
the attention paid to them.” The checks apply to all Russian and
international budget airlines flying in and out of Russia.
The heightened scrutiny follows the catastrophic crash on March 19 of a
Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by the Dubai-based low-cost airline
FlyDubai — a subsidiary of international carrier Emirates — during a
landing attempt at Rostov-on-Don. All 62 people aboard died.
The plane made several landing attempts under harsh weather conditions
before crashing. According to an unidentified source close to Russia’s
aviation authority, cited by TASS, the FlyDubai pilots were apparently
attempting to abort their second landing attempt when the plane suddenly
dropped from an altitude of 900 meters and exploded on impact.
The two main theories of the causes of the accident are pilot error and a
technical malfunction, Russia’s Investigative Committee has said.
However, independent experts have said the relatively new Boeing was
more likely downed by dangerously strong gusts of wind, which can lead
to a loss of control when flying low and slowly.
On Saturday, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that Russian
authorities will inspect FlyDubai’s operations within Russia.