On May 5th, 2019, a Sukhoi SuperJet attempted an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. As it failed for the first time, the second attempt was fatal – the engines had caught fire. As the jet landed and people tried to escape the burning aircraft, 41 out of 78 people on board had lost their lives.
But what exactly happened on Flight 1429, traveling from Moscow to Murmansk.
The flight departed as normal, but a tad bit late – at 18:03 PM Moscow Time. As the aircraft departed Sheremetyevo Airport, 6 minutes later, the pilots called out a radio failure and began the diversion procedure back to the airport. 15 more minutes later, the ATC received another emergency call out, this time it was an emergency one.
While there is still no official given reason behind the accident, some passengers have come out and said that lightning hit the aircraft, which would explain the radio failure.
However, please bear in mind that this theory is only speculation, as officials have not yet provided an official preliminary report on the incident. Aeroflot said that the aircraft returned to the airport because of “technical reasons", as the crew detected “malfunctions on board the aircraft […]”.
As the pilots attempted to land the aircraft, they failed.
The flight crew attempted to land for the second time. Before landing, the pilots tried to gain altitude but failed and a hard landing ensued – the bottom of the Sukhoi Superjet had hit the ground and the engines were engulfed in flames. Later on in the evening, a video emerged showcasing the second landing attempt of Flight 1492:
Judging from the video, the aircraft‘s flight speed was too high as the pilots tried to force the nose to the ground and land the Sukhoi Superjet. According to some sources, the landing gear collapsed and that‘s the reason why the fire erupted.
One more shocking video reveals that the right engine of the airplane was on fire:
As the news sources around the world broke the news about the crash, firstly, conflicting reports emerged.
Firstly, some have reported that only 10 people were injured. Later on, reports stated that 13 people have sadly passed away.
But Aeroflot has confirmed that only 33 passengers and 4 crew members survived the incident. Out of the 33 passengers, 5 of them are currently in the hospital. That means that the official death toll of the accident is 41 people, as 78 passengers departed from Moscow to Murmansk. The Russian transport minister, Evgeny Ditrich, is leading the official investigation commission, as it is gathering the evidence about the incident.
Aeroflot also has established a rapid response center. In addition, the airline will fly the relatives of the passengers on board the Flight SU1492 without them having to pay any fees at all.
Shockingly, as escaping passengers were filming the incident, other passengers brought their carry-on luggage in the middle of the evacuation, which has slowed down the whole process. You can see the footage right here:
However, Aeroflot has come out and said that “the aircraft was evacuated in 55 seconds, compared to the industry norm of 90 seconds. Nevertheless, the Sukhoi Superjet was already burning before it fully stopped, meaning that passengers had even less time to evacuate the aircraft than the “industry norm”.
Whatever it might be, we express our condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and wish a speedy and successful recovery to anyone that’s in the hospital, recovering from the incident.