71 thought dead after Russian Aircraft plunges after take-off
Tragic news over the weekend, that a seven years old Saratov Airlines Antonov AN-148 regional jet crashed soon after takeoff from Domodedovo airport near Moscow. The plane was only 10 years old.
The plane was heading for the city of Orsk on the Kazakhstan border. It was carrying 65 passengers and six crew. Wreckage has been found over a wide area about 60 miles southeast of Moscow.
Eyewitnesses have reported seeing a ‘falling airplane in flames’ (Interfax).
An official of the Emergency Situations Ministry has reported that two bodies and the ‘black box’ flight recorder have been found. A criminal case has been opened regarding the incident. No distress signals had been received from the crew.
A poor safety record has dogged the Russian civil aviation industry since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, however, it has been on the improve in recent years.
2017, was a year without any passenger jet aircraft accidents occasioning loss of life. 2018 will not be able to claim that status.
These incidents always seem more visceral if you have some connection to them. Mine is tenuous, but I was at Domodedovo airport last year, having flown with S7 from Madrid.
Our thoughts go out to those who have experienced loss in this terrible incident.