Aeroflot-Nord has suspended operations with a Boeing 737-300 (VP-BKT) because its instrument panel includes indicators similar to those on the 737-500 were lost in an unexplained fatal accident in Perm.

The Russian airline says the cockpit of the 737-300 features "special" director-indicator pointers on complex flight-control and navigational instruments. "This could be one of the factors that led to the tragic event," says the carrier.

Investigators have yet to determine the reasons for the 14 September loss of the Aeroflot-Nord 737-500, during a night-time approach to Perm, which killed all 88 occupants on the jet.

Aeroflot-Nord says Yevgeny Bachurin, chief of Russian federal air transport agency Rosaviatsia, has ordered the suspension of flights by specific aircraft until crews have been fully trained on the instruments in question. It adds that it will replace the instrument, and will make appropriate arrangements with Boeing.

Source: Flight International