A Russian short-range airliner An-28, manufactured by Antonov, crashed in the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia on Wednesday, the 12th of September 2012.
Associated Press reports that there are four survivors of the total 14 souls on-board at the time of the crash.
RIA Novosti reports that the aircraft lost radio contact with the ATC at 00:28 GMT.
AFP confirms that according to the ministry statement, the airplane’s crash site is located on a hill covered with cedar trees, so it’s possible that the pilots were attempting to execute an emergency landing in the forest at the time of the crash.
Plane Crash Decoded
Known facts regarding this unfortunate incident are:
- The air crash took place on September 12, 2012 at 00:28 GMT.
- The weather conditions, as per the local forecasts, were: overcast skies and rain.
- The region where the aircraft crashed has low visibility and poor weather conditions as its dominant weather.
- The Antonov-28 crashed in a forest and was difficult to reach by ground rescue workers.
- As reported by AP, airport officials highlighted an engine malfunction to the Interfax News Agency as a probable cause of the air crash.
What Caused The Anotonov-28 Crash?
Although the investigators have not yet declared a formal cause for this crash, they have not ruled out the following: low visibility and bad weather, engine failure or a mechanical malfunction, or pilot error. It could also be a combination of the above factors. What does this mean?
- Low Visibility and Bad Weather: Bad weather conditions can have a drastic effect on a pilot’s ability to safely maneuver an airplane, and can complicate other issues, such as a pilot’s mistake or a problem with the plane. Visibility also plays a significant role in locating an optimum landing site within the glide distance, so rain could have also been a factor.
- Engine Failure or Malfunction: Antonov-28s require a crew of two, to pilot the aircraft which is powered by two turboprops. An all-engine failure, or a mechanical failure, can render an airplane powerless, and a powerless aircraft is relatively difficult to maneuver and is hence at the mercy of the winds. Moreover, a plane without power can glide only a limited distance – the glide distance is determined by the local winds, altitude, and the weight of the aircraft at that particular time. If the plane lost all power over a forest, with no clear landing site available within the glide distance, a crash would result.
- Pilot Error: In some cases, errors or mistakes on the part of a pilot causes a crash. With no additional information in this case, there’s no way to know whether pilot error contributed.
Airplane Crash Speculation
With no witnesses, and no specific information on the individual plane’s mechanical history or pilot’s abilities and experience available, we can only speculate about the cause of this crash.
ABC News. Russian Plane Crash Kills 10, Wounds 4. (2012). Accessed: September 12, 2012.
The Independent. 10 Killed in Russian Plane Crash. (2012). Accessed: September 12, 2012.
RIA Novosti. Russian Plane Crash Kills 10 in Far East. (2012). Accessed: September 12, 2012.
Antonova, Maria. Ten Dead in Plane Crash in Russian Far East. (2012). Accessed: September 12, 2012.
Decoding Science. One article at a time.