Date & Time:
Aug 8, 2011 at 1420 LT
Irkutsk - Chita - Blagoveshchensk - Khabarovsk
Captain / Total hours on type:
Copilot / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
Aircraft flight cycles:
Approach was completed in poor weather conditions with low visibility, heavy rain falls, thunderstorm activity and cloud base at 500 feet. Despite he did not establish any visual contact with the runway or its light system, captain decided to continue the approach and passed the minimum decision height. Aircraft was not aligned with the runway centerline and aircraft hit tree tops 250 meters to the right of the centerline and 75 meters short of runway 36. Aircraft stalled and crashed, lost its undercarriage and its left wing before coming to rest. Twelve occupants were injured while the aircraft was destroyed.
The probable causes of the accident were the failure of the crew to go around and the descent well below decision height without visual reference to landmarks when the aircraft approached the airfield in weather conditions below the captain's, aircraft's and airfield's minima and in dangerous/adverse weather phenomena like thunderstorm, heavy rain and severe turbulence as well as the lack of appropriate response and required actions following terrain awareness warning system alerts resulted in a controlled flight into terrain, collision with obstacles and the destruction of the aircraft.
- the crew underestimated the weather conditions at the destination airport thus taking an erroneous decision to attempt an approach in thunderstorm and heavy rain showers,
- unsatisfactory meteorological support of the flight, the dispatcher and later air traffic control provided information about visibility, cloud and wind data that did not correspond to actual conditions that were significantly worse than minimums required,
- clearance for the approach by air traffic control despite the presence of dangerous weather phenomena (thunderstorm, heavy rain) at the aerodrome, which did not correspond to the standard operating procedures at Blagoveshchensk,
- inadequate staffing with a first officer who was performing his first flight after a prolonged leave without proper preparation and training,
- unsatisfactory crew interaction and the failure to adhere to standard operating procedures, especially the call outs of approaching decision height, the absence of a decision by the commander to continue the landing or go-around and the lack of action to recommend/initiate a go around by the first officer.