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Superjet crew may have attempted go-around after bounce

Analysis of the fatal Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 hard landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo indicates that the crew might have attempted a go-around, despite having activated reverse thrust.

The aircraft initially touched down some 900m from the threshold of runway 24L, after returning to Sheremetyevo following a lightning strike.

But the aircraft bounced and, while it was airborne, the captain activated maximum reverse thrust.

The thrust-reverser doors did not deploy, however, owing to the absence of a weight-on-wheels signal.

When the aircraft contacted the runway for a second time, the reverser doors started to activate, opening as it bounced again.

During this second bounce the aircraft reached a height of 15-18ft and the flight-data recorder shows that, 2-3s into the bounce, the pilot advanced the thrust levers to take-off power and pulled the side-stick into the maximum aft position.

"These actions may be interpreted as an attempt to perform a go-around," says the Interstate Aviation Committee, pointing out that the open reverser doors were starting to close.

But the thrust did not increase and the aircraft continued to descend after the second bounce, striking the runway hard at 140kt and badly damaging the main landing-gear, which subsequently collapsed. The jet suffered structural damage and fuel spilled, causing an outbreak of fire.

Flight-data recorder information indicates a full or partial loss of engine control at this point, although the inquiry has yet to complete an in-depth examination of the engine control unit.

Ten seconds after this final impact the thrust levers were "repeatedly" switched to maximum reverse, but the inquiry says this "did not cause any changes" – the engines remained at idle thrust and the reverser doors were in "transit positions".

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