Russian AN-148 crash – 71 dead

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February 11, 2018
AN148 airliner
AN-148 airliner like the one that crashed in Russia

A Saratov Airlines AN-148 has crashed near Argunovo, Russia killing all 65 passengers and 6 crew.

The 70-seat An-148 regional jet was en-route to Orsk when it vanished off the radar.

READ: World’s safest airlines 2018

The crash site is 80km south-east of Moscow.

Aviation-Safety.net reported that Flight 6W703 took off from runway 14R at Domodedovo Airport at 14:21 hours local time (11:21 UTC). The last contact on flight tracking website Flightradar24 was 14:27 hours.

AN-148 flightpath
Flightradar 24 data on the AN-148 that is believed to have crashed.

According to Aviation Herald, Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations confirmed flight 6W-703 crashed and was found near the village of Stepanovskoye in Ramensky district. Rescue forces including helicopters were dispatched on site.

It added that the Ministry reported that one of the black boxes has been found and was recovered.

Russia’s Interregional Transport Prosecution Office opened a criminal investigation into the crash verifying compliance with legislation, in particular, technical maintenance and dispatch of the aircraft.

BELOW: CCTV vision of crash impact

Saratov Airlines is based at Saratov Tsentralny Airport.

It was founded in 1931 and was part of Aeroflot.

Until 2013 it operated as Saravia.

In December 2013, Saratov Airlines, became the first Russian operator of Embraer E-Jets, with the arrival of two Embraer 195 114-seat aircraft.

In October 2015, Russian authorities sanctioned Saratov Airlines after a violation of security rules and suspend its rights to operate international flights for six months.

It operates mainly between Russian cities but also has destinations in Armenia and Georgia.

The AN-148 and its larger brother the AN-158 have not enjoyed sales success with only 59 ordered since 2005.

Part of the problem has been while the aircraft is built in Ukraine, most parts come from Russia.

There has been one other crash of an AN-148 in 2011 where 6 died on a pilot training mission.