Aeroflot Nord’s flight 821 was on its way from Moscow to the city of Perm, when it blew up in the air during its descent to Perm. Local residents told the media they heard a huge blast, then the plane rocketed towards the ground like a comet. Fragments of the plane were scattered over an area of four square kilometers and it even destroyed a part of the Trans-Siberian railway.
According to the official statement of the airline radio contact with flight SU821 was lost at 1,100 metres as the plane was descending for its landing at Perm; at the same time the plane’s signal was lost on air traffic controllers’ displays. Wreckage of the plane has been found within the boundaries of the city of Perm. The plane was totally destroyed and had caught fire.
82 people and 6 crew members were onboard. According to the news nobody survived the crash. Among the passengers there were seven children and 21 foreigners including Ukrainian, Swiss, Italian, Latvian, French, German and Turkish citizens.
General Gennady Troshev, a former commander of Russia’s war in Chechnya, was named among the victims. He was accused of permitting soldiers to commit vicious abuses of human rights during the campaign and was sacked by then President Vladimir Putin in 2002.
The list of passengers is available now on the website of Aeroflot.
Aeroflot is Russia’s flag carrier, Aerflot Nord is a subsidiary that operates flights domestic Russia. Aeroflot had a bad accident statistics in the mid 90s, but after they modernized their fleet, they had no serious accidents. According to Aviation Safety Network this was the first accident of Aeroflot Nord.
Spokesman of the airline said the 15-year-old plane was in a good condition and it had a full safety check this year. The plane was registered as VP-BKO with Aeroflot Nord since 14MAR2008 and first flew on in 08SEP1992 in Braathens colors for about two weeks before moving to China and beginning operations with Xiamen Airlines on 24SEP 1992, where it remained for 15.5 years.
We will follow up with the news and updates of this accident.
Update September 15: according to the first results of investigation, engine problems may have caused the accident of Flight 821.
Alexander Bastrykin, head of a federal committee investigating the accident, said the crash “was apparently connected to technical failure and a fire in the right engine” but did not provide evidence to support the claim.
Aeroflot officials said the plane was circling at about 3,600 feet in “difficult weather conditions” — including low cloud cover and rain — when it suddenly crashed.
Flight controller Irek Bikbov who was in contact with the doomed aircraft prior to the crash told Russia’s Channel One television that the plane’s pilot was behaving in a strange way, disobeying orders to go lower on the final approach and instead taking the jet to a higher altitude. He said the aircraft also turned left when he instructed it to turn right.
When he asked the pilot whether things were normal on board, the pilot answered positively but his voice was strained as if under stress, Bikbov said.
“He was behaving in a strange manner and wasn’t following my orders,” Bikbov said.
The plane’s flight recorders have been found, and officials said it will take three to four weeks to analyze them as they sustained “serious damage” and are in “poor condition,” adding that “additional work using special equipment” would be required before any information could be extracted.