Russian investigators on Monday were trying to restore the damaged cockpit voice recorder of a passenger jet, in an effort to understand why it had tried to land in strong winds. After circling a southern Russian airport for more than two hours because of high ground-level winds and poor visibility, a passenger jet from the United Arab Emirates crashed during a landing attempt on Saturday (March 19), killing all 62 people aboard. A passenger jet run by Flydubai under the code FZ981 has crash-landed at Rostov-on-Don airport.
"The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces," the committee said on its website. "There were 55 passengers aboard and seven crew members. They all died in flydubai plane crash." In a statement published on Twitter, the Dubai Media Office said 44 of the passengers were Russian, eight were Ukrainian, two were Indian and one was from Uzbekistan.
Specialists from Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee, the United Arab Emirates and France has inspected the damaged flight recorders, opening and extracting the memory modules from the devices, the IAC said in a statement. The stricken plane's flight data recorder survived largely intact, but the cockpit voice recorder - which should shed crucial light on the pilots' final conversations before the plane crash - was badly damaged and needs to be restored. That process could take weeks, officials have said.
However, Russian investigators have successfully downloaded flight-data recorder information from the aircraft. Initial assessment of the data indicates that the recorder was operating during the flight and captured information leading up to the impact of the aircraft with the ground on 19 March. Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee adds that the recorded data is “good quality” and analysts have started interpreting the contents.
The Russian Investigative Committee has said it will be looking at three flydubai plane crash causes: technical issues, severe weather and human error.
"We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the passengers and crew.", said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive of FlyDubai. "Everyone at FlyDubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those involved. We don't yet know all the details of the accident but we are working closely with the authorities to establish the cause. We are making every effort to care for those affected and will provide assistance to the loved ones of those on board." The airline said Sunday it would provide "hardship payments" of $20,000 per passenger to relatives of those killed in the crash, to help address immediate financial needs.