A flydubai Boeing 737-800 (aircraft A6-FDN), flight FZ-981 from Dubai to Rostov on Don, Russia crashed last night 55 passengers and 7 crew onboard. My thoughts are with the 62 souls, all lost on impact.
I took a flydubai 737 from Colombo to Dubai last month and had a great experience. Very professional. I had no concerns, and wouldn’t have any at this point either. I enjoyed the crew and the trip very much.
Weather last night near Rostov on Don was terrible, and the plane had aborted its approach to the airport’s runway 22. It held at 8000 feet for half an hour, then climbed back to 15,000 feet where it held for another hour and a half.
They commenced another approach to runway 22. With winds at 27 knots, gusting to 42 knots, they made another go around. The plane should have had more than 2 hours worth of fuel left at the time of the incident, so there was no fuel pressure to make a risky landing.
Via One Mile at a Time, Aeroflot flight SU1166 diverted to Krasnodar International Airport 157 miles away between the time of the flydubai aircraft’s first and second landing attempts.
The flydubai aircraft had descended to 1500 feet when it climbed back to about 4000 feet and then began a rapid descent where the aircraft struck the ground in under a minute. The aircraft’s wing struck the runway. The plane burst into flames.
Here’s the remarkably calm air traffic control recording in the minutes prior to the crash.
This is security footage showing the impact of the crash:
We don’t know what happened yet as the aircraft descended. There’s been plenty of speculation, such as heavy icing at lower altitudes without taking anti-icing measures. The wind could have been a strong contributing factor. But we just don’t know for certain at this point, and won’t for awhile.
For now, we can only mourn the loss and trust that we’ll learn from the crash and make air travel even safer in the future.