Flight-data recorder information from the Antonov An-32B that crashed in Moldova on 11 April shows no evidence of fire or mechanical failure, but Russian investigators have no record of crew conversation.

The aircraft, operated by Sudanese carrier Kata Air Transport, collided with a VOR-DME navigational beacon while attempting to land at the capital Chisinau following transponder failure.

It had undergone a maintenance check at Chisinau's Aviatechservis facility, says Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), and had departed the city bound for Antalya and Khartoum.

"Since the flight was operating through the airspace of several countries and, without the identification system, such flights are usually not permitted, the crew decided to return to Chisinau airport," adds MAK.

Weather conditions at the time "did not impede" the flight, it says, adding that the flight-data recorder shows no indication of engine failure, system malfunction or fire before the crash.

Communication between the aircraft and air traffic control is being analysed, but MAK says communication between crew members "was not recorded".

Post-crash fire destroyed the aircraft. There were no survivors among the eight personnel on board, which included a crew of four.

Source: Flight International