Thursday, May 10, 2012
MOSCOW – Russian investigators opened a criminal probe on Thursday into possible misconduct during preparations for the exhibition flight of a new Superjet 100 jet which came down in Indonesia.
The Investigative Committee said it would probe “the procedure for preparing the flight crew and also the technical condition of the craft itself before its departure from Russia.”
The twin-engine plane vanished from the radar screens on Wednesday about 50 minutes into its exhibition flight. Rescuers at the scene said on Thursday they had found bodies but no survivors.
Initial reports on the number of people on board varied between 46 and 50.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said it believed the plane was carrying 48 crew and passengers of five different nationalities including eight Russians.
The Russian investigators said they would question the technical personnel who prepared the crew for the flight “and representatives of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft company involved in making the plane and preparing it for operations.”
The Russian committee said it was also studying the option of sending a team to Indonesia “that could be present for the investigation being conducted by the Indonesian law enforcement authorities.”
The PowerJet SaM146 is a turbofan engine produced by the PowerJet joint venture (not to be confused with Power Jets) between Snecma of France and NPO Saturn of Russia. Snecma is in charge of the core engine, control system (FADEC), transmissions (accessory gearbox, transfer gearbox), overall engine integration and flight testing. NPO Saturn is responsible for the components in the low pressure section and engine installation on the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional aircraft and ground testing.
The SaM146 design is based on the CFM56. In keeping with the design and development of jet engines from manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney Canada, General Electric and Rolls Royce, the engine has been conceived to meet customer requirements regarding fuel burn, cost of operation and dispatch reliability.
The core was developed by Snecma, drawing on its M88 ‘hot section’ military engine experience and the DEM21 core demonstrator project – with its six-stage compressor and single-stage, high-pressure turbine with active blade-tip clearance control – and various other modern design features (such as single-piece bladed disks).
The SaM146 provides 62 to 77.8KN of thrust (6,200 to 7,700 kg). In April 2003, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company selected the SaM146 for its Superjet 100 regional aircraft, to be produced in 75 and 95-seat versions.
The SaM146 utilizes a single-stage turbine and as a new design has been developed to meet current and projected environmental standards, including regulations of the ICAO Committee of Aviation Environmental Protection Sixth Session (CAEP VI), set to become effective in 2008.
Blisk technology is used to improve fuel economy and lower maintenance.
On 23 June 2010, it was announced that EASA certified PowerJet for its SaM146 engine. It gained Russian certification in August 2010.
As is usual with modern jet engines, PowerJet intends to offer the usual range of support services for operators.
Investigators are now examining taped conversations between the pilots and air-traffic control, particularly the pilot’s request to descend from 10,000ft to 6,000ft seconds before the plane disappeared from radar screens.
“The airplane crashed at the edge of Salak mountain,” said Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. “An investigation must be done immediately and thoroughly.” Aerial pictures from the crash scene revealed tiny sections of wreckage from the wings and fuselage scattered down an exposed stretch of cliff surrounded by the dense forest.
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency chief, Daryatmo, said: “From the pictures we’re seeing it looks like it was a total loss.” Sukhoi has already won 170 orders worldwide for its Superjet-100 and was aiming to sell 42 in Indonesia alone, competing against similar-sized offerings in the passenger jet market from Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier.
If the cause of the crash turns out ultimately to be a pilot or air-traffic control error, the effects on sales might not prove too disastrous. But a technical fault in the jet that has already suffered delays could be catastrophic for orders.
Who selected the route of the ill fated aircraft, it is not designed to climb mountains with rapid acceleration due to it’s fuel saving technology. I supposed the pilot is experienced in flying larger jets but have no experience flying the Superjet 100. Other than that, there should not be any problems. – Contributed by Oogle.
On Thursday, Russia’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said experts believe “human factor” was the most probable cause of the fatal crash of the aircraft.
“Experts say that all [the aircraft’s] equipment functioned smoothly. In other words, it could be some kind of a human error,” Rogozin told journalists.
Posted: 16 May 2012 0224 hrs
Indonesia team finds crashed Sukhoi’s black box
CIJERUK, Indonesia: A search team in Indonesia found Tuesday the black box of a Russian jet that could explain how a veteran pilot crashed the new plane into a dormant volcano last week, killing all 45 aboard.
“We found the black box at around 10 this morning (0300 GMT),” Ketut Parwa, head of the search operation, told reporters late Tuesday near the crash site at Mount Salak in western Java.
“It was found around 100 metres (328 feet) from where we located the tail.”