Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Airlines Ordered To Ground All An-148 Aircraft After Deadly Crash

A Saratov Airlines Antonov An-148 takes off from Domodedovo airport outside Moscow.

Russia's state transport agency Rostransnadzor has ordered the country’s airlines to ground their Antonov An-148 aircraft after one crashed last month.

Rostransnadzor chief Viktor Basargin said on March 20 that the decision was made after an inspection of Saratov Airlines.

An An-148 plane operated by the company crashed near Moscow soon after takeoff on February 11, killing all 71 people on board.

ALSO READ: 'Altitude! Altitude!' Purported Black-Box Transcript Reveals Grim Moments Before Russian Crash

Russia’s aviation regulator, Rosaviatsiya, said that all of Saratov's Airlines' flights were suspended until April 27.

Two days after the crash, investigators said that preliminary tests and analyses indicated that the speed gauges could have been covered with ice and shown inaccurate data.

The Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) suggested on February 13 that heating elements for the gauges were not switched on before the An-148 took off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport on a flight to the Urals city of Orsk.

According to MAK, the flight recorders indicated that the two gauges displayed different speeds before the crash, one rising rapidly while the other showed a speed of zero.

With the difference widening, it said, the crew apparently switched off autopilot and returned to manually flying the plane, which hit the ground six minutes after takeoff.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax