10 May 2019 13:27

SSJ-100 landing gear is 'absolutely reliable' - SCA

MOSCOW. May 10 (Interfax) - Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCA), which manufactures Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) planes, of which one burned down following an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo on May 5, said the plane's landing gear is reliable.

"The SSJ100 landing gear meets the toughest requirements and is absolutely reliable. All

SSJ100 planes are certified according to the Russian and European standards. There is nothing special in the SSJ100 landing gear. The landing gear works in a standard manner," Sukhoi Civil Aircraft told Interfax.

In the evening on May 5, Aeroflot flight SU1492 from Moscow to Murmansk returned to its airport of departure, Sheremetyevo, made an emergency landing and caught fire. Only part of the passengers and the crew out of 78 people on board managed to evacuate themselves from the burning plane via emergency chutes. As a result, the death toll of the accident is 41 people and ten people were hospitalized.

An informed source earlier told Interfax the fire aboard the Superjet that crashed in Sheremetyevo happened after foreign objects, supposedly parts of the destroyed landing gear, got into the left fuel tank.

The SCA said it is too early to draw conclusions about the cause of the crash.

"A probe is being conducted into the disaster in Sheremetyevo. It has not been completed yet. It is now too early to draw conclusions. Experts from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft are providing all necessary technical support to the investigation commission of the International Aviation Committee. It will help determine the cause and circumstances of this event," the company said.

In the meantime, it was reported earlier that two crashes and several incidents involving planes of this type have occurred in the course of several years of operation of Superjet 100 in civil aviation.

In particular, a Superjet landed with retracted landing gear at Keflavik Airport in Iceland during a test flight in July 2013. It returned to its base in Zhukovsky in December after being repaired. In July 2018, a similar plane landed with retracted landing gear at the Ramenskoye airfield after a test flight. In October 2018, a Superjet-100 rolled outside the runway in Yakutsk, one landing gear leg was destroyed. No passengers and crewmembers were hurt in those situations.

The SCA said "these situations have various nature and causes."

"In particular, the flights in Iceland and Zhukovsky were conducted as part of tests on test planes and with over-extreme loads. And the situation in Yakutia was caused by the icing of the runway: the plane rolled outside it and hit a barrier (the end of the new part of the runway, which was under construction), which was 40 cm high," the company said.

As to the SSJ-100 crash in Sheremetyevo, a criminal case has been opened based on the article dealing with "violations of the rules governing safe operation of air transport leading to the deaths of two or more people." The case is being investigated by the Main Directorate for Especially Important Cases of the Russian Investigative Committee.

"Investigators are considering various theories of the event, including insufficient skills of pilots, air traffic controllers, and technicians who examined the aircraft, a faulty plane, and bad weather," the Russian Investigative Committee's press service told Interfax.

Rostransnadzor has begun extraordinary inspections of PJSC Aeroflot, the International Sheremetyevo Airport, and the federal state unitary enterprise State Air Traffic Management Corporation.