Monday 26 December 2016

Initial investigations in to Tu-154 crash

The official response - so quickly?

Tech failure, human error main theories for Tu-154 crash, not terrorism – Russian transport minister

A rescue operation on the Black Sea coast at the crash site of Russian Defense Ministry's TU-154 aircraft. © Press-service of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry
A rescue operation on the Black Sea coast at the crash site of Russian Defense Ministry's TU-154 aircraft. © Press-service of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry / Sputnik

25 December, 2016

The main theories as to why the Tu-154 crashed off Sochi’s coast do not include a terrorist act, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said.

According to Sokolov, a “technical problem or piloting error” could have led to the disaster.

Today, the main theories do not include terrorism, so we assume that either technical problems or a piloting error may have been the cause. But I stress that only an investigation, along with a special technical Ministry of Defense committee will tell us for sure,” the minister said at a briefing.

The Tu-154 was initially supposed to refuel in the city of Mozdok in North Ossetia, but due to bad weather the plane was redirected to the airport in Adler, a Black Sea resort, “therefore, nobody knew beforehand that the plane would refuel at the airport in Sochi,” a security source told TASS.

After arriving in Adler, “only two border guards and one customs officer came onboard, and only one navigator shortly left the plane to control refueling,” the source dded.

The Tu-154 transport plane had 92 people on board, including 84 passengers and eight crew members. It went missing over the Black Sea shortly after refueling at an airport near Sochi. Most of the passengers on board were members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the official choir of the Russian Armed Forces.

They were traveling from Moscow to the Russian military base in Khmeimim near Latakia, Syria, to take part in a Christmas celebration with the troops deployed there. The head of the choir, conductor, and composer Valery Khalilov, was also onboard.

The passenger list released by the Defense Ministry on Saturday also includes Elizaveta Glinka, a revered charity activist and humanitarian worker best known by her nickname “Doctor Liza.” 

Some 3,500 people are currently working in three shifts in the rescue operations in the area of the Tu-154 plane crash in Sochi.

Perhaps the official version should not be taken at face value?  If I remember correctly they said something similar after the crash of the plane in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Via VK

12.26.16. Material from the military analyst Boris Rozhina.

"The terrorist attack probability. There were entries from webcams in the Sochi embankment, which recorded a bright flash in the sky off the coast, at about the same time when the connection was lost with the Tu-154.
On the subject of a terrorist attack probability.

Major Air Force instructor pilot Sergey Krasnopyorov:

- What could cause a crash of the liner, do you think?

- This is just say "black box" that will raise with this liner. But, as you say, version - pilot error and failure of technology - this is the real reason, as always happens in such cases. But it's too suspicious that the aircraft after take-off in the climb, it is just a few tens of minutes, it disappears from radar screens.

- Who made it clear that it happened in the seventh minute, when climbing or when turning, apparently, over the Black Sea.

- This means that the motor is running correctly, the fuel was normal. If it had happened on the rise, the reason could be a fuel. The situation may be similar to the tragedy in Sharm el-Sheikh, there is also after takeoff, it was not long.
- Do you mean the version of the attack?

- Of course. That is very strange, the plane on takeoff falls very rare, especially in this class. Tu-154 has three engines, it is very reliable. With them I was flying as a passenger myself very often.

- Why is the fault of the aircraft you are considering? After all, the Tu-154 - the plane is far from new.

- Yes, but they are very reliable. I can consider the aircraft structure from the point of view of the pilot, and believe me, that is connected with the management of the aircraft, there are so reliable control system is, not as it is now electronic, and have rope backup systems, including aircraft control systems, that is, in case of failure of one system , enter the other. Given the experience of the pilots who fly these planes now, still very strange to me that the situation that was only the seventh minute after takeoff. I understand that the aircraft took off from our airport, and it should also be an electronic monitoring system, so that it could not be that someone to it flew up, into something he could crash.

- Initially reported that he just lost the signal from the radar screen, but the plane showed no distress signals.

- It is said that the plane, as in Sharm el-Sheikh, immediately lost speed and fell just snap into position, that is uncontrolled. In this case, the pilot just at such an overload, which in this case happens, not only did not report to the dispatcher, but also include the distress signal was not able to. Imagine a ship starts to rotate heavily. So I think there was an aircraft destruction, as it was in Sharm el-Sheikh, where the speed he was first 780 km / h and then abruptly began to 170 km / h, and the loss of altitude of 1000 m. Now we have to see the radar, just as fall speed. That is, the plane could plan and take the water. Recently there was a case with the Tu-154, when people have saved 37 people. The pilots then able to put the liner on the unfamiliar field with a strong wind, a strong blizzard, and they have saved almost all people.

In this situation, the weather conditions were simple, if something was wrong with the aircraft, with an engine, he would have just turned around, and began to plan towards the airfield, to the villages in the coastal zone. Let the plane would fall, but the pilots and the crew and the passengers would be alive, you know? And then a sharp fall, it happens in the case when something unintended happened, something exploded, something has fallen off. As a rule, can only fall off the tail of the aircraft. But in all other cases, the pilot could safely transmit information, including a distress signal, but this did not happen. So something had such an unintended, sudden in the seventh minute of the flight. So, on the crew I can not sin, and the technique is not so sharp breaks.

- Another "Interfax" reports citing its sources, that the expansion of the wreckage of the aircraft that crashed near Sochi was about 15 km. As these data will affect all in the version?

- Separation of fragments with such speed, and the speed he had in the set order of 600-700 km / h, are already there it goes again, he may well be at a distance. But if a plane crashes, then this would be no separation of fragments, believe me. 

The plane fell apart, just collapsed, then exploded, then somewhere someone gave suitcase, considering that it was a flight to Syria, and flew the musicians of the ensemble, could something to carry with these musical instruments, someone that -That could enclose. Believe me, this is the dispersal of fragments only when the aircraft destroyed in the air. He just blows up and all. And when the plane just crashes, it turns oil slick, and then float part. The plane, if it falls, dives into the water, simply disappears, it is found after some time. And then even found a man already, which is already in the coastal area affected by the debris. This suggests that the debris fell to the ground in a disorderly fall, then it exploded in the air.
President of the association of veterans of "Alpha" Sergey Goncharov.

- With high probability I can say that it was not a terrorist attack, for several reasons - said President Sergey Goncharov counterterrorism division veterans association "Alpha". - First. This plane, which serves the Department of Defense, and, believe me, the discipline in the Ministry of Defense is still quite serious, and the people who serve the data flight, they checked people naturally have all forms of tolerance, in order to do this job.

Second. On this plane flying people, our comrades who are almost all knew each other, and strangers, as I understand it, no one in this plane is not tucked. And the luggage, which was there, of course, be checked precisely those people who flew in this plane.

Third. The plane, as I understand, not so long was in the air, the water area of the sea gives the opportunity, if it was an explosion or some flash, you probably would have appeared witnesses who could see it, or, at least, can it fix . And the last. The wreckage of the aircraft have already been discovered, so they are not scattered so far from each other, as happens with some ...

- One and a half kilometer distance to the sea is, as you know, quite small. That's all gives me reason to say that we should be inclined, as I understand it, to versions or pilot error, or that refueling, which took place are not relevant any criteria. In any case, it is necessary to express my condolences to all the victims. Unfortunately, this tragedy saddened our holiday days. But in any case, I think, is now the Ministry of Defence will deal carefully and put the point of the i. The only thing that confuses me, why the crew was unable to provide any information to dispatchers. Here is a fact for which I can not answer, I think, to answer the investigation.

- Sergey, must have been in a tragic world practice of similar events. And why the crew, if you try to understand now on analogies to the parallels, could not do the first thing that probably makes every pilot knows when the situation goes beyond the usual standard, - to submit a distress signal? For example, other situations may explain how events can develop, why could this happen?

- If we are talking to you about a terrorist attack, when an explosion on board the plane or in the luggage compartment immediately lost communication system, and technically the captain can not give any information to the dispatcher. 

Apparently, if there was some technical fault, any technical problem, which is not allowed to contact the crew with dispatchers (I repeat, it is a problem that will be dealt with after the lift debris) ... If this was a terrorist attack, at the moment in any case would be indirect evidence of what happened on the plane, in particular, a flash, an explosion, or at least we would have some new, though subjective or indirect hints that the plane was blown up and it crashed in the air with the help of the explosion.

From official sources:

"Previously, during the climb crew experienced a technical malfunction of a critical nature, which led to a catastrophe", - said the source of "Interfax" in the emergency services.

As a source told in the operational headquarters, "according to preliminary data until the situation is as follows. The pilot and crew, and if Tu-154 magnified it, were professional, they were not flying accidents - all pretty sure that this is not the human factor. Captain pros navigator participated in planting "somersault" Tu-154.

This is not a terrorist act, too, with a probability close to unity - the aircraft is serviced, controlled in a special area, police Sochi airport hard since the time of the Olympics. Weather conditions, shall we say, not the best, was closed yesterday for the weather Simferopol and Sochi was spare, but they still had flight. Unless, of course, the liner has not got in accident resulting sudden tornado. Or a flock of birds, which is "stopped up" all the engines simultaneously on the rise, at the time of full thrust - there ornitopark ryadom.Veroyatnee just a technical failure, and so instantaneous and critical, such as a stabilizer switch to dive in Rostov, that the crew did not manage it either to work or to report. Because even the failure of two engines on the Tu-154 does not kill the crew anyway to put the liner on the water.

And stupid when they talk about the old plane about "it is already banned." He was not banned, and put out of use by commercial airlines, because it consumes a lot of fuel well, the noise exceeds the norms, and indeed his domestic situation can not be compared with "Boeing" and "Airbus". The plane is not "old", it has an airworthy condition - he is either unfit to fly or not. In the US, won "Douglases" 50-60 years letayut.Ya say more "black boxes" - parametric lotsirovany recorders already, they will raise with experts bathyscaphe. All the debris and bodies, of course, also be raised -. 70 meters deep now available " What happened - the undoubted tragedy. The reasons will understand, as the investigation is taken under very tight control on the highest level. For more information, give and decoding of the black boxes. Now it began to raise the bodies of the dead. According to Tass, noon, was found and picked up four bodies.

In Sochi, built and operates the operational headquarters for the reception of relatives of victims of aircraft passengers. In Sochi airport duty brigades of psychological and psychiatric care. The mayor held an emergency meeting of the Commission for Emergency Situations. "The correspondent of" Kommersant "in the Krasnodar Territory reports that local residents in the disaster point not seen the flash and heard the explosion," - the press notes.

Also, sources in the Russian FSB explained why being tested all the approaches to the liner, serving it and engaged in technical training. "Version of the attack is not a priority, but it should also be worked out Yes, FSB checks all exposed to the lost overboard, otsmatrivat recording, conducted surveys -. To exclude version, not because it is" secretly investigating. "

Test Pilot, Russian hero, Anatoly Knyshov:

- Tu-154 is quite reliable aircraft that is operated not only in the Ministry of defense, but also in civil aviation He has proved its reliability, comfort what this board were military experts, he says.. that the aircraft was fully prepared because before each flight passes test -. this type of aircraft, it has a certain tolerance, the airworthiness certification.

what happened ... everything can be in the air, but after takeoff when the engine runs on takeoff mode, and the crew have no information about any failures of individual systems or engines, otherwise, if such information would, according to the instructions to the pilot turned around, landed at the airport of departure. In this situation, we can say that, obviously, something is still on board were. Because just as the planes do not fall, do not sit down emergency. But why the crew did not report the information about what happened to him, it is also a question.

- What are the options for complete failure of the systems on board?

- One of the options - a rejection of three engines. But in any case, the crew informed the control room service, informs the Ministry of Defence of one reason or another. In this situation, in my view, a sharp loss of communication, abrupt depressurization of the aircraft led to the fact that the crew could not, did not have time to report the reason that they have on board occurred.

- Anatoly, now, when they say that the board was refueling in Sochi, could the poor quality fuels cause a state of emergency? Or now it is rather an exception to the rule?

- When there is refueled at any airport on the territory of the Russian Federation and abroad, the crew and the gang, which serves (and I think this board is required to the technical team that serves this type of aircraft), they will check the passport of fuel type , its characteristics and shoot even before filling the so-called fuel sample. Therefore, to say that this is the cause of low-quality fuel, I can not yet, but the Commission may determine, they are sure to take the place of the crash test (remaining fuel in any case where something will be). They will be able to learn and quality of fuel, and the status of systems, and crew availability. 

Because in any case, if it was of poor quality fuel, it can not be had at the same time the refusal of three engines, which could lead to such a catastrophe. The reason for the explosive character. There is a sound alarm, warning light, which warns the crew about this or that problem. This is a warning not to work. Because the prevention work for the crew, gives information with a view to the crew competently and correctly carried out the recommendations that they have worked in the ground conditions. It's sad that this is happening with our colleagues, namely from the Ministry of Defence, it is with those who went there in the hot spot, which could support our troops before the New Year. It is a tragedy that we all experience.

- Now searches are conducted. In particular it was reported that the search for the aircraft are 7 ships, joined the search for the Mi-8 helicopter of the Sochi airport in the Black Sea. But there was an information that a possible point where the plane crashed, is in the mountains. Can you explain why now such conflicting information coming from?

- Any aircraft that takes off, followed by the dispatching service locators and help the crew to build up the exit path to the route. If they are somewhere shy, manager says you dodge. Because it is on this air route, possibly several types of aircraft - on the opposite direction, in the same direction. And dispatching service monitors and responds to some extent for the safety of a finding on this route. But even if the dispatching service locators could not see where the label of this type of aircraft ... Because each controller display shows the type of aircraft and its call sign. And with the loss of the label immediately given command search service (in this case the helicopters, which are now produced in the search area of possible failure labels). And the situation in the mountains can be such that they fell below the detection one.

- And what may be the reason for such behavior of the crew?

- It could be the explosive nature of the aircraft itself, ie explosion could occur, and no one could tell - or correspondents, who were there, neither the crew. Nothing else here I can not imagine. "

26.12.16. Материал от военного обозревателя Бориса Рожина.

"О вероятности теракта. Появились записи с веб-камер на сочинской набережной, которые зафиксировали яркую вспышку в небе недалеко от берега, примерно в тоже самое время, когда была потеряна связь с Ту-154.

На тему вероятности теракта.

Майор ВВС, летчик инструктор Сергей Красноперов:

Что могло послужить причиной катастрофы этого лайнера, как вы считаете?

Об этом скажет только "черный ящик", который поднимут с этого лайнера. Но, как вы говорите, версии — ошибка пилота и отказ техники — это реальные причины, как всегда бывает в таких случаях. Но это слишком подозрительно, что самолет после взлета в наборе высоты, это буквально несколько десятков минут, пропадает с экранов радара.

Сейчас уточнили, что это произошло на седьмой минуте, при наборе высоты или при развороте, по всей видимости, над Черным морем.

Это значит то, что двигатели работали исправно, топливо было нормальное. Если бы это случилось на взлете, причиной могло быть топливо. Ситуация, возможно, схожа с трагедией в Шарм-эш-Шейхе, там тоже после взлета прошло совсем немного времени.

Вы имеете в виду версию теракта?

Конечно. Что очень странно, самолет на взлете падает очень редко, тем более такого класса. Ту-154 имеет три двигателя, он очень надежен. Я на них сам летал как пассажир очень часто.

Почему неисправность самолета вы не рассматриваете? Ведь Ту-154 — самолет далеко не новый.

Да, но они очень надежные. Я могу рассматривать конструкцию самолета с точки зрения летчика, и поверьте, что связано с управлением самолета, там настолько надежная система управления стоит, не как сейчас электроника, а есть тросовые дублирующие системы, в том числе системы управления самолетом, то есть при отказе одной системы, вступает другая. Учитывая опыт летчиков, которые летают сейчас на этих самолетах, все-таки мне очень странна эта ситуация, что была всего лишь седьмая минута после взлета. Я понимаю, что самолет взлетал с нашего аэродрома, и за ним же следила система электронная наблюдения, так что не могло быть, что кто-то к нему подлетал, во что-то он мог врезаться.

Изначально сообщали, что он просто пропал сигнал с экранов радаров, но при этом самолет не подавал никаких сигналов бедствия.

Это говорит о том, что самолет, как и в Шарм-эш-Шейхе, моментально потерял скорость и просто упал в штопорное положение, то есть неуправляемое. В этом случае летчик просто при такой перегрузке, которая в этом случае случается, не только не мог доложить диспетчеру, но и включить сигнал бедствия был не в состоянии. Представляете, лайнер начинает просто сильно вращаться. Поэтому я думаю, произошло разрушение самолета, как это было в Шарм-эш-Шейхе, где скорость у него была сначала 780 км/ч и потом резко стала 170 км/ч, и потеря высоты 1000 м. Сейчас надо посмотреть радары, именно как скорость падала. То есть самолет мог спланировать и сесть на воду. Недавно был случай с Ту-154, когда спасли людей, 37 человек. Летчики тогда смогли посадить лайнер на незнакомое поле при сильным ветре, в сильном снежном буране, и они спасли практически всех людей.

В данной ситуации были простые метеоусловия, если бы что-то случилось с самолетом, с двигателем, он бы просто развернулся, и стал планировать в сторону аэродрома, сел бы в прибрежной зоне. Пускай самолет бы развалился, но летчики, и экипаж, и пассажиры были бы живы, понимаете? А тут резкое падение, так бывает в том случае, когда что-то нештатное случилось, что-то взорвалось, что-то отвалилось. Как правило, у этих самолетов только может отвалиться хвост. А во всех остальных случаях летчик спокойно мог передать информацию, включить сигнал бедствия, но этого не случилось. Значит, что-то было такое нештатное, резкое на седьмой минуте полета. Так что, на экипаж я не могу грешить, а техника так резко не ломается.

Еще "Интерфакс" сообщает со ссылкой на свои источники, что разлет обломков разбившегося под Сочи самолета составил порядка 15 км. Как эти данные повлияют вообще на версию?

Разлет осколков при такой скорости, а скорость у него в наборе порядка 600-700 км/ч, уже там он идет свыше, на таком расстоянии вполне может быть. Но если бы самолет падал целый, то такого бы не было разлета осколков, поверьте. Самолет развалился, просто развалился, значит, взорвался, значит, где-то кому-то дали чемоданчик, учитывая, что это был рейс в Сирию, и летели музыканты из ансамбля, могли что-то пронести с этими музыкальными инструментами, кто-то что-то мог подложить. 

Поверьте, такой разлет осколков бывает только при разрушении самолета в воздухе. Просто он взрывается, и все. А когда лайнер просто падает, получается пятно масляное, и потом всплывают части. Самолет, если он падает, пикирует в воду, просто исчезает, его находят через какое-то время. А тут даже нашли человека уже, который уже в прибрежной зоне пострадал от обломков. Это говорит о том, что обломки падали на землю в беспорядочном падении, значит, он взорвался в воздухе.

Президент ассоциации ветеранов "Альфы" Сергей Гончаров.

- С большой долей вероятности могу утверждать, что это не теракт, по нескольким причинам, - говорит президент ассоциации ветеранов подразделения антитеррора «Альфа» Сергей Гончаров. - Первое. Это самолет, который обслуживает Министерство обороны, и, поверьте, дисциплина в Министерстве обороны до сих пор довольно серьезная, и люди, которые обслуживают данные рейсы, они люди проверенные, естественно, имеют все формы допуска, для того чтобы заниматься этой работой.

Второе. На этом самолете летели люди, наши товарищи, которые практически знали все друг друга, и посторонних людей, как я понимаю, никто в этот самолет не подсаживал. И багаж, который там был, естественно, подвергался проверке именно тех людей, которые летели в этом самолете.

Третье. Самолет, как я понимаю, не так долго был в воздухе, акватория морская дает возможности, если бы это был взрыв или какая-то вспышка, то, наверное, появились бы очевидцы, которые могли это видеть или, по крайней мере, могли это зафиксировать. И последнее. Обломки самолета уже обнаружены, значит, они не так далеко разлетелись друг от друга, как бывает при каких-то…

- Полтора километра для моря это расстояние, как вы понимаете, совершенно небольшое. Вот это всё дает мне основания говорить, что надо склоняться, как я понимаю, к версиям или ошибка пилотов, или та заправка, которая проходила, не соответствующая каким-то критериям. В любом случае надо выразить соболезнования всем погибшим. К сожалению, эта трагедия омрачила наши предпраздничные дни. Но в любом случае, я считаю, сейчас Министерство обороны тщательно разберется и поставит точки над i. Единственное, что меня смущает, почему экипаж не смог дать никакой информации диспетчерам. Вот это факт, на который я пока ответить не могу, думаю, ответит следствие.

- Сергей Алексеевич, наверняка были в трагической мировой практике похожие события. И почему экипаж, если попытаться сейчас понять на аналогиях на параллелях, не мог сделать самое первое, что, наверное, делает каждый пилот, если понимает, что ситуация выходит за рамки обычной штатной, - подать сигнал бедствия? На примере других ситуаций можете объяснить, как могли развиваться события, почему это могло произойти?

это вертолеты, которые производят сейчас поиск в районе возможного пропадания метки). А ситуация в горах может быть такая, что они опустились ниже зоны обнаружения.

- А с чем это может быть связано такое поведение экипажа?

- Это мог быть взрывной характер самого самолета, то есть мог произойти взрыв, и никто не смог сообщить – ни корреспонденты, которые там находились, ни сам экипаж. Ничего другого я не могу здесь предположить."

1 comment:

  1. A Tu-154 is of the same vintage as Boeing 727 jetliners are, which are still used by various foreign airlines and air-cargo operators worldwide. Even older Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 aircraft are still used by air cargo operators and occasionally in charter service too. As-long as the aircraft in-question had been well-maintained I doubt that a catastrophic structural failure would be the cause of the crash.

    The problem could have been a catastrophic engine failure that ripped-open fuel lines and led to an explosion, or it could have perhaps been that one of the wing fuel caps was not properly-secured and jet fuel then reached the engine, causing an explosion in the wing. I wonder if the wrong fuel was used, as using gasoline rather than jet fuel would rapidly cause an engine runaway and then a big explosion on departure and climb-out too.

    Could it have been a bomb or a missile? Possibly. There is still a lot of anger at Russia and Syria over their recent victory in Aleppo, in Ukraine over Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, as well as over the recent Security Council condemnation of Israeli settlement building too. Guess we will have to wait until enough wreckage is recovered in order to know what exactly brought the plane down.

    A friend of mine commented earlier today that "This is such a tragedy, they are brilliant ambassadors of song". Let's hope that if this aircraft was brought down by a terrorist act that those guilty are caught and held responsible for their actions.


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