Russia stresses need to train crews for unexpected events

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Russia's federal air transport authority Rosaviatsia is urging carriers to tighten crew training in order to ensure they are able to cope with unexpected events.

It follows the fatal loss of an Aeroflot-Nord 737-500 at Perm on 14 September and the gear-up landing of a KD-Avia Boeing 737-300 at Kaliningrad on 1 October.

Rosaviatsia chief Yevgeny Bachurin says only "a lucky chance" prevented the KD-Avia incident becoming more serious.

The authority states that the frequency of recent aviation incidents is testimony to "unsatisfactory" preventative management regarding flight safety. Intensified air transport activity among airlines, it points out, can adversely affect crew training and rest periods.

While Russian airlines have increasingly turned to Western-built types to replenish ageing fleets, Rosaviatsia warns: "Acquiring foreign aircraft is not, in itself, a guarantee of high safety levels."

Operation of such aircraft requires professional training among crew and engineering personnel which, it states, is "not always the case" among carriers.

Safety is being affected by a range of issues, it claims, which sometimes include "incorrect and inappropriate action" in the event of unusual in-flight situations. It is directing airlines to ensure that air crews, during regular training checks, are able to handle such problems and are fully briefed on aircraft systems.