Antonov has carried out a simulation indicating that the An-148 which crashed outside Moscow could have been brought under control.

Preliminary findings from the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee inquiry into the 11 February Saratov Airlines accident have pointed to unreliable airspeed information, probably linked to an unheated pitot-static system.

The crew had attempted to fly the aircraft manually before it descended from around 1,800m (5,900ft) and crashed into a field a few minutes after departure from Domodedovo airport.

Antonov says it has taken the preliminary information from the inquiry and used it to carry out a flight analysis of possible scenarios using a simulator.

It says two experienced Antonov test pilots modelled the flight, assessed the emerging failure and – in line with the operating manual – disconnected the autopilot and "safely completed" the flight.

The Interstate Aviation Committee has yet to explain why the crew of the Saratov aircraft were apparently unable to take similar control.

Federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia is also carrying out simulated flights to examine the An-148's flight characteristics during upsets, and establish whether the type's warning systems are effective.

Source: Cirium Dashboard