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Flydubai crash probe trying to reconstruct head-up display data

Russian investigators are trying to rebuild head-up display information from the Flydubai Boeing 737-800 which crashed at Rostov-on-Don, to determine whether it can offer further insight into the cause of the accident.

Flight-data recorder information shows that the Rockwell Collins head-up display was functioning when the March 2016 accident occurred. The 737 crashed as it executed a go-around during a second attempt to land at Rostov.

While the inquiry is entering its final stage, the Interstate Aviation Committee says it needs to finalise analysis of the head-up display data.

“The head-up display indication that the captain could see might be important to establishing the cause of the accident, and making recommendations for improving safety,” it adds.

But the examination of the data involves “considerable complexity”, says the inquiry, with the initial phase only completed in February this year.

Rockwell Collins has worked to reconstruct the head-up display indications using information derived from the flight-data recorder.

The company has been able to recreate a series of separate individual images. But presenting the information as a streaming video, offering a more authentic replication of the captain’s view, is a “very difficult task”, says the inquiry.

“It takes a lot of time and can be achieved only for a limited time interval,” it adds.

Investigators have already determined that the aircraft had been subjected to nose-down inputs from the control column and stabiliser trim switches as it climbed away during the go-around. The aircraft entered a steep dive, crashing into the ground, and none of the 62 occupants of the aircraft survived.

As part of the head-up display work the inquiry is evaluating the technical capabilities of simulators fitted with such devices to see if they are able to recreate the indications seen during the last moments of the flight.

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