Newly-emerged video images of the Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 accident at Moscow Sheremetyevo have provided the clearest indication of the increasing severity of the landing bounces which eventually resulted in the destruction of the aircraft.
The images indicate that the aircraft may have touched down initially some 700m from the threshold of runway 24L after returning to the airport, following a lightning strike, on 5 May.
After this apparent touchdown the video images suggest the aircraft entered a shallow bounce but pitched to a flat or slightly nose-down attitude before a second runway contact at about 900m, as it passed the A8 taxiway.
The aircraft oscillates again, from nose-up on the second bounce to nose-down as it strikes the runway at around 1,100m, before pitching up into a relatively high third bounce which carries it over the A7 taxiway intersection.
Images then suggest the aircraft pitches nose-down before partially recovering to a flatter attitude just before the final hard impact at about 1,300m, appearing to be banked slightly to the right resulting in a touchdown on its right-hand main landing-gear.
Both landing-gear assemblies then appear to collapse and the aircraft slides for a few moments before a clear ignition.
Given that the aircraft came to rest in the vicinity of the A2 taxiway, it must have slid – while burning – for about 1km before veering off the runway and stopping, whereupon the jet was evacuated.
The images were shown on Russia's NTV television channel.
Investigators are still probing the full extent of the incident on the aircraft’s control systems over the final 20min of its aborted flight to Murmansk, in order to understand the circumstances which led to the bounced landing. Forty-one of the 78 occupants did not survive the accident.