THE aviation industry is going through a difficult period, as one of Boeing’s line of aircraft remains grounded following two separate crashes that killed hundreds earlier this year. The latest fatal crash does not, thankfully for Boeing, involve one of their planes, but the circumstances will not help any nervous flyers out there. An Aeroflot SSJ100 burst into flames on a Moscow runway last Sunday when it made a “hard landing” after being forced to return shortly after take off due to a communications fault.
No passengers were believed to have been killed or injured in the impact, but the fire in the rear of the craft required an emergency evacuation. There are several reports that rather than leaving the plane immediately a number of passengers stopped to retrieve their bags from overhead lockers. One “obese gentleman” was singled out, blocking the aisle while retrieving his bags. Although he survived many of those behind him, including two children, were engulfed in the smoke and flames, perishing on the plane. Footage taken from the runway clearly shows the first people to leave throwing their luggage down the sole escape chute, with delays retrieving bags almost certainly costing lives.
Meanwhile the cause of the crash remains a mystery, much like the recent Boeing disasters. The pilots part in the matter has been raised, as it is usual procedure to dump fuel if aborting a flight in this fashion so that the landing is not too heavy,something which wasn’t done here. Electrical failures and lightning strikes are also being speculated about. Meanwhile Aeroflot’s safety record has also once again come into the spotlight. 8,231 passengers have now died with the Russian carrier, five times more than any other airline.