Azerbaijan Airlines has grounded its remaining Antonov An-140-100 turboprop following its fatal 23 December crash involving one of the type.

Reports from Baku quote an airline statement as saying its remaining An-140 has been grounded until the causes of the crash are determined. The airline has also reportedly suspended taking delivery of two other An-140-100s on order with Ukraine’s Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Company.

The 23 December crash killed all 23 passengers and crew members on board the An-140. The twin-engined turboprop aircraft was operating between Baku and Aktau in Kazakhstan and it reportedly broke apart over the Caspian Sea coastline several minutes after takeoff.

Local media have reported that the wreckage is spread over an area of around 1.5km some 30-35km north of Baku. Investigators are widely quoted as saying the aircraft’s data recorders have been found and that they are still looking at all potential causes including mechanical failure and terrorism.

State-owned Azerbaijan Airlines, or AZAL, took delivery of its first Klimov TV3-117VMA-SB-powered An-140 late last year from an order for four of the type. A second was added this year and it was to have been followed by two others.

The An-140 that crashed on 23 December is believed to have been registered as 4K-AZ48. According to Avsoft’s ACAS database it carried a manufacturer’s serial number of AT07036.

Source: Flight International