The final moments of the ill-fated Tatarstan Air Boeing 737-500 appear to have been captured on Kazan airport's security cameras.
According to Kazan airport authorities, the Tatarstan Air Boeing 737-500 crashed during a go-around manoeuvre following an attempted night approach to runway 29.
As they initiated the go-around, the crew told air traffic control they were abandoning the approach because it was "unstabilised", a generic term meaning that the aircraft's speed or the descent profile, or both, were not within acceptable parameters to assure a safe landing.
A few moments later security video cameras caught the last two seconds of the aircraft's flight before impact with the surface. It was in an almost vertical descent, and although the night-time view was poor quality, it appears to be in a nose-down dive. There also appear to be one or two small flashes from the aircraft's wing just before impact, when there is a huge explosion and fireball.
There have been a few cases of crews losing control of their aircraft during go-around manoeuvres in the last 15 years, always at night or in poor visibility: China Air Lines Airbus A300-600 at Nagoya, Japan in 1994; Gulf Air A320 in Bahrain in 2000; Airmavia A320 at Sochi, Russia in 2006; Afriqiyah Airways A330 at Tripoli, Libya in 2010. In the Tatarstan case it is not clear yet whether loss of control was the result of purely human factors, technical failure, or other factors like sabotage.
The accident happened at the end of a flight from Moscow Domodedovo airport, and all six crew and 44 passengers were killed. The aircraft, VQ-BBN, first flew in June 1990 and was initially operated by Air France on lease from AWAS according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database.
Since that time AWAS leased it to a series of other airlines, mostly recently to Bulgaria Air, before Tatarstan began operating the twinjet in 2008. It has accumulated 41,923h over 31,945 cycles, records Ascend Online Fleets.