Moscow, Dec 28: The main flight recorder from the Russian plane that crashed into the Black Sea on December 25 has revealed that faulty flaps were to blame for the incident, the Russian media reported on Wednesday.
The flaps, panels on the wings that help lift an aircraft, did not open in sync and that led the pilots to lose control as the plane was at a “critical angle”, a source close to the probe told private Russian news agency Interfax. Another report quoted the crew’s last words, including: “The flaps, hell... !”
The ill-fated Tu-154 airliner came down off the Russian coast with the loss of all 92 passengers and crew.
On board were 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble, as well as one of Russia’s best known humanitarian figures, Yelizaveta Glinka.
The plane was heading to Russia’s Air Force base in Syria where the choir was due to perform at a New Year’s concert.
According to the BBC, the latest findings come from a cockpit conversation stored on the flight’s main “black box” data recorder, which was found underwater about a mile from the shore.
An earlier audio recording, played on Russian media, said to be of the fil conversation between air traffic controllers and the plane’s crew, revealed no sign of difficulties.
But news website Life, which is close to the Russian security agencies, issued a transcript of the cockpit recording taken from the “black box”, indicating the two pilots were taken by surprise.
The plane crashed soon after take-off from an airport near the city of Sochi, where it had landed for refuelling.
So far, divers have recovered 15 bodies and 239 body parts, said the authorities. (IANS)