Accessibility links

Breaking News

Downed Plane May Have Received Bad Instructions

The tail of the Armenian plane in the seaport of Sochi today (epa) PRAGUE, May 3, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Georgia's civil aviation authorities say the Armenian passenger jet which crashed in the Black Sea early this morning may have been given contradictory information on weather conditions at its destination.

Bad weather is thought to have been the cause of the crash of the Armavia Airbus with the presumed loss of all 113 people on board. It was approaching the Russian resort of Sochi when it went down.

Spokeswoman Tea Gadabadze of the Georgian Air Navigation Service told RFE/RL that that Georgian air-traffic controllers were in contact with the airliner. She said they had told the Armenian crew that the weather was unfavorable for a landing in Sochi, and the Armenians then decided to go back.

But 20 minutes later, the Armenian crew told the Georgians they were "getting different information" from Russian air-traffic controllers in Rostov.

The plane later crashed. There has been no Russian reaction to the Georgian assertions.

Armenia and Russia have declared May 5 a day of mourning.

RFE/RL In Russian

RFE/RL In Russian

UPDATED CONSTANTLY: Visit RFE/RL's Russian-language website, featuring news, analysis, features, streaming audio, and more, in Russian, from RFE/RL's Russian Service.


RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Russia.