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CRJ-200 had enough fuel to fly to reserve airport

31 january 2013, 17:18
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Bombardier CRJ-200. ©<a href="http://avianews.com" target="_blank">avianews.com</a>
Bombardier CRJ-200. ©avianews.com
CRJ-200 aircraft that crashed near Almaty had enough fuel to fly to the reserve airdrome, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Sergey Kulnazarov, Director General of KazAeroNavigatsiya of the Civil Aviation Commission of Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications.

According to the expert, the plane flying from Kokshetau to Almaty could have turned to the reserve airports in Karaganda or Astana. The pilot-in-chief Vladimir Yevdokimov had to make the decision. Kulnazarov added that the crew was not authorized to land in Almaty airport in the heavy fog.

“With horizontal visibility as low as 300 meters and vertical one of only 30 meters the pilot was not allowed to land. With runway visibility range below IIIB requirements (RVR of 75 meters) the landing may not be allowed. If the weather does not comply with the minimum requirements, the pilot has a right to go down to the decision height. The decision height for this aircraft is 30 meters,” Kulnazarov said.

According to the airport’s weather service, the visibility during at the time of the plane’s crash was even less: 200 meters horizontally and 20 meters vertically.

Under these weather conditions crew could not possibly be allowed to land. Almaty airport has IIIB category which allows it to accept aircrafts at extremely bad weather conditions, but not as bad as those. Only IIIC category allows to operate under poorer condition and enables an airport to accept planes at zero visibility, provided that the plane and the crew also have the IIIC category, but this category is not yet in operation anywhere in the world.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that the crew received three warnings of the bad weather conditions. The first message was received by the crew 1.5 hours before the flight. The forecast said that horizontal visibility in the area was 600 meters and vertical one was 10 times less than that. The second weather forecast was transmitted to the crew 15 minutes before the flight. During the flight the crew received an update on the weather in Almaty for the third time. A heavy fog was still there and the runway lights visibility range was only 30 meters.

On January 29 the Bombardier airplane owned by Scat airline crashed 7km from Almaty airport during its second attempt to land. According to the prosecutors, the plane was performing a Kokshetau-Almaty flight. The accident claimed lives of 5 crew members and 16 passengers including a 2-year-old boy.


By Dmitriy Khegai

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