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3 May 2006EK-32009(Airbus A.320-211)
An aircraft flying from Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, to the southern Russian city of Sochi has crashed into the Black Sea, killing all 113 people on board. Fifteen bodies have reportedly been recovered from the water so far. The Airbus A-320 from Armenia’s Armavia airline disappeared from radar screens at about 2215, UTC, yesterday. An Armavia spokesman said that bad weather caused the crash but a Russian emergency official said the aircraft may have had technical problems. Terrorism has reportedly been ruled out as a cause. According to a Russian emergency official, the aircraft “disappeared from radar screens as it was making another emergency landing attempt”. “It plunged into the sea at an angle of 60 degrees,” Viktor Beltsov said. Among those on board were eight crew and five children, he said. A Russian air traffic control official, Alexander Neradko, told the Interfax news agency the aircraft had not sent any distress signals before it crashed. Sochi is a popular Russian seaside resort, near the border with Georgia. Parts of the plane, engine fuel, human body parts, baggage and life jackets have been found in the water. Rescuers said a large number of life jackets were unused, suggesting the crash happened too rapidly for passengers to put them on. A number of rescue boats are at the scene, a few kilometres offshore, but their work is being hampered by heavy rain. Fragments of the plane have been detected at a depth of 300 metres, 5 km from the coastline, Mr Beltsov said. According to an official from Armavia, Andrei Aghajanov, the aircraft had initially been denied permission to land because of heavy rain. However, he said, the airport then changed its mind and gave the go-ahead for the landing. “The plane was in an ideal technical condition, the crew was well qualified,” Mr Aghajanov is quoted as saying.
1.2 3 May 2006
Airbus A.320-211, EK-32009, operator Armavia, with eight crew and 105 passengers crashed on the shore of the Black Sea and broke up, 6 km from Adler/Sochi Airport at 2212, UTC, May 2. All persons on board the aircraft were killed.
1.3 4 May 2006
Grief-stricken relatives of the 113 victims of a Black Sea aircraft crash scrutinized photographs of bodies pulled from the water today in hopes of identifying their loved ones, as rescue boats searched the waters offshore. Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, meanwhile, said searchers had detected a radio signal from what was believed to be a large portion of the aircraft’s fuselage containing one of the flight data recorders. He said that military deep-sea equipment would be brought in to try to retrieve the so-called black box, but warned the process would take time. Russian news agencies, citing the Emergency Situations Ministry, reported that the signal was picked up by French specialists who joined the search today, using sonar to scan the sea floor. The aircraft went down in heavy rain and poor visibility as it was approaching the airport in Adler, about 12 miles south of Sochi. The aircraft slammed into the water nearly four miles offshore. Boats continued to search for bodies and debris from the Armenian Airbus A320-211 (EK-32009), which originated in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. So far, 47 bodies had been brought in, and 22 of them identified, according to emergency officials. President Vladimir Putin urged Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov to ensure that everything possible be done to quickly investigate the causes of the crash, Russian news agencies reported. The transport minister said it was too soon to say what happened. “We are not considering any working theory until we get a better understanding of the events that took place, and that will require deciphering the black boxes,” he said. A spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s office, Nataliya Vishnyakova, however, dismissed the possibility of terrorism and other officials pointed to the rough weather or pilot error as the likely cause. The head of the Georgian air control agency, which oversaw 90 per cent of the Armavia jet’s final flight, said the aircraft’s crew had begun to return to Yerevan because of weather conditions but decided to turn around again when Russian air controllers announced that the weather at Adler Airport had improved as it was over the western Georgian city of Kutaisi. “And since they had enough fuel, the pilot decided to fly back to Adler,” Georgian agency chief Georgy Karbelashvili said.
1.4 5 May 2006
Two black boxes of Armenia’s Airbus A-320 which crashed off the Russian Black Sea coast yesterday morning have been spotted by French experts, an official from Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said today. “French experts finished their work by finding black boxes. They claim to have spotted two black boxes at a depth of 680 metres not far away from each other,” Lieut. Gen. Sergei Kudinov, chief of the Emergency Situations Ministry’s southern branch, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. The Airbus A-320 of the Armenian airline belonging to the air company Armavia crashed into the Black Sea near the southern Russian resort town of Sochi on Tuesday, killing all 113 people onboard, including six children and eight crew. “As of today 28 bodies out of 48 withdrawn from water have been identified,” Kudinov said. At the same time, rescuers have gathered three trucks of recovered items and pieces of the aircraft on the surface. “It is remarkable that among all the seat parts there were no safety belts,” Kudinov said. “As far as black boxes are concerned, taking into consideration world experience, no one has ever raised them from such a depth. Moreover, the harsh environment, hydrogen sulfide, should be taken into consideration as well,” the official said. In addition, there is nothing in the search zone at a depth from 60 to 200 metres, while sound locator is detecting “certain metal elements, probably, of the airliner’s fuselage at a depth of 600 metres,” Kudinov said.
1.5 11 May 2006
The Russian government will pay 100,000 rubles ($3,700) to the families of 113 people killed in a Black Sea air crash a week ago, the Russian health minister said today. An Airbus (EK-32009) owned by Armenia’s Armavia airline crashed in stormy weather near the Russian resort of Sochi on May 3. On May 4, the head of Armavia said all passengers had been insured and their families would receive $20,000 each, and the Armenian government promised compensation worth $3,400. EK-32009
1.6 22 May 2006
Emergency teams have recovered one of the two flight recorders from an Armavia Airbus A320-211 (EK-32009) that crashed in the Black Sea May 3 with the loss of 113 people, Russia’s transportation minister said today. Igor Levitin said the black box recorded the conversation between the pilot and crew and had been buried under 20-50 cm of silt. Levitin said the search for the other box, which recorded flight data and was thought to be lying 3-5 m away from the first one, would continue into the night. Rescuers’ data showed that the A-320’s black boxes were at a depth of 496 m and 5 m apart from each other. 23 May 2006
The search for the flight recorder from the crashed Armavia Airbus A-320-211 (EK-32009) has been suspended in the Black Sea because of bad weather conditions. Strong wind and high waves stopped deep-water operations using a search robot, a member of operational headquarters told ITARTASS today. The aircraft’s voice recorder was recovered from the sea floor yesterday. Specialists believe that the flight data recorder is not far from the first and is buried in a layer of silt. The RT-1000 robot used in the search for it has been equipped with an additional silt-clearing pump.
1.7 24 May 2006
Russian searchers today recovered the second flight recorder from an Armavia Airbus A-320-211 (EK-32009) aircraft that crashed into the Black Sea three weeks ago, killing all 113 people aboard, local media reported. The flight data recorder was lifted by a diving apparatus from a depth of about 1,640 ft after it was separated from a thick layer of silt, said Transport Ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Kryshtanovskaya, according to the RIA-Novosti news agency. The blackbox was discovered within 16 m from the spot where workers on Monday (May 22)found the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder. Russian television channels showed footage of a yellow, remote-controlled apparatus lifting the red recorder from the sea surface. Prosecutors almost immediately dismissed the possibility that terrorists had brought the plane down, and officials point to rough weather or pilot error as the likely cause. Armavia officials have suggested, however, that air traffic controllers were at least partly to blame.
1.8 19 June 2006
Examination of the flight recorder from an Armenian airliner that crashed into the Black Sea last month has produced no new information on the reasons for the crash, an official said today. The A-320 Airbus, operated by the Armavia Airline, came down in stormy weather off Russia’s Black Sea coast May 3 with the loss of all 113 passengers and crew on board. “The interstate aviation committee has finished decoding the flight data recorder,” said Gayane Davtyan, spokeswoman for Armenia’s main civil aviation department. “The decoding... showed that the plane had not disintegrated in the air,” Davtyan said. “The engines were operating until the plane hit the water.” She said the flight recorders had held information about eight flights made by the plane April 30-May 3, including the fatal trip. The tape lasted 26 hours 20 minutes, including one hour 26 minutes of the last flight. Russia’s Transportation Ministry said in a statement earlier today that the plane had enough fuel to complete the flight safely, and that the autopilot was off in the last minute. Davtyan also said the commission had started detailed analysis of recorders and planned to model the crash on a special A-320 training plane. “The conclusion about the reasons will be made after the analysis and investigation, to be followed by flight safety recommendations,” she said. On June 8, the commission finished deciphering the other black box – the cockpit voice recorder. The recorder had captured 33 minutes of exchanges between the pilot of the plane and air traffic controllers at Russia’s southern Adler airport, outside Sochi, where the plane was heading. The Russian Transportation Ministry said the transcript would not be published in line with the standards and practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization.