Russia grounds all AN-148 aircraft due to safety concerns
Russia’s transport agency Rostransnadzor ordered all of the country’s airlines to ground their AN-148 aircraft due to safety concerns. The order comes a month after a deadly crash of Saratov Airlines' AN-148, which killed all 71 people on board on February 11, 2018.
The decision was made after the inspection of Saratov Airlines, said Rostransnadzor chief Viktor Basargin as reported by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
The Moscow Times report that 27 An-148s are operated in Russia. Saratov, Rossiya, Angara airlines, and the Russian Aerospace Forces will be affected by the order to ground the aircraft.
In addition, following the inspection of the Saratov Airlines, Russian federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia limited the validity of Saratov’s certificate until April 27, 2018.
Saratov’s AN-148 crashed on February 11, 2018, killing all 65 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane, six minutes after takeoff. According to Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), the heating elements for the gauges were not switched on before the aircraft departed from Moscow's Domodedovo airport on a flight to the Urals city of Orsk.
The flight recorders found on the crash site indicate that two gauges displayed different speeds of the plane before the crash – one was rising rapidly while the other one displayed zero, according to MAK. The emergency situation occurred approximately 2 minutes into flight. With the difference of speeds displayed widening, the crew switched off autopilot and started manually piloting the aircraft, which unfortunately crashed few minutes later, six minutes after takeoff.
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