Pilot Fatigue: Possible cause of FZ981 crash killing 62 onboard
On March 19, 2015 , a Boeing 737-800 belonging to budget carrier FlyDubai possessing flight number FZ981 with 55 passengers and 7 crew members onboard crashed during the attempt to land at Rostov-On-Don International Airport, Southern Russia.
According to the source, the aircraft was repeatedly attempting to land due to poor weather condition. Before the crash, the aircraft was on hold above the airport for about 40-50 mins. The meteorological department reported that the strong wind was at 20 meters per second at the time of crash. Low cloud base, rain and poor visibility might have led to inappropriate unstable approach.
Another plane had made three landing efforts and finally it diverted in between the flydubai’s plane first attempt to land and crash. Possibly, the crew of flydubai’s plane were in pressure to land or due to low on fuel they didn’t go for the diversion.
Both pilots were very experienced who had logged more than 5000 hrs+ on their belt. According to one of the expert, possible cause of crash has been regarded as fatigue and tiredness. It was night flight which leads expert to believe that one of the captain was probably called out off stand by. If a pilot is on standby, it becomes too difficult to know when he/she has to go for flight. The main challenge is about how much sleep he/she gets before being called for night flight.
Investigators have retrieved both black boxes of the aircraft from crash site and soon the exact cause of the crash would be probed.