Gear-up Superjet crew had requested touch-and-go

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Pilots of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 test aircraft had requested to execute a touch-and-go manoeuvre shortly before a gear-up accident at Reykjavik's Keflavik airport.

The twinjet touched down with its landing-gear retracted during the event on 21 July as the aircraft was undergoing certification testing for Category IIIa approaches.

It came to rest about 100m off the far end of runway 11, almost on the centreline but on a slightly skewed heading. The aircraft sustained damage to its aft lower fuselage as well as its two PowerJet SaM146 engines.

Icelandic accident investigation authority RNF is heading the inquiry into the accident.

Lead investigator Ragnar Gudmundsson says the crew had "requested a touch-and-go with the tower". But he says the inquiry is not yet prepared to disclose details on the subsequent events.

Fuel was removed from the Superjet in order to remove it from the accident site. Gudmundsson says the Superjet was lifted with two cranes and inflatable supports.

Personnel boarded the aircraft and powered the aircraft up using internal batteries. The landing-gear was then lowered, although Gudmundsson declines to state whether this was achieved using the gear selector, as normal, or an alternate procedure.

After the aircraft was lowered onto its landing-gear, a tug towed it to a stand at the airport for further inspection.

Both flight recorders have been retrieved and, although a final decision has yet to be taken, Gudmundsson says they will "most likely" be sent to Moscow's Interstate Aviation Committee for data download.

RNF has yet to disclose other details about the aircraft's configuration, including its airspeed and flap setting, and the status of any on-board warning systems.

Sukhoi has previously said that the aircraft's systems were functioning normally at the time of the accident.