Initial investigation suggests that Saratov airlines Antonov An-148 crash might have been caused by Ice on sensors. Speed sensors that were iced over may have caused a passenger jet to crash near Moscow, killing all onboard, the investigation reported.
The faulty instruments could have indicated wrong speed data, Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee said. The Committee also said after studying the plane’s flight data recorder that Sunday’s crash occurred after the pilots saw varying data on the two air speed indicators.
The Saratov Airlines jet went down minutes after take-off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Sunday. No emergency call came from the plane. The Antonov An-148 was en route to Orsk in the Ural Mountains.
The plane plummeted into a snowy field six minutes later. The pilots performed a series of maneuvers and eventually took the plane into a dive at 30-35 degrees before the crash.
More than 700 people are involved in the search operation, struggling through deep snow. The emergencies ministry is collecting DNA samples from victims’ relatives in order to identify the victims.
By this morning, some 1,489 fragments of bodies and 498 aircraft wreckage pieces were found in macabre searches by investigators, said an official from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.