By David Kaminski-Morrow & David Learmount in London

Russian investigators have revealed that the flight data recorder (FDR) from the S7 Airlines Airbus A310-300 that crashed at Irkutsk on 9 July is damaged and will require special care in downloading, although the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) appears to be intact.

The aircraft was inbound to Irkutsk from Moscow Domodedovo when, following a localiser-only instrument landing system approach to runway 30 in rain with a cloudbase of about 600ft (180m), the aircraft landed in the runway touchdown zone, according to airport officials. It kept to the runway axis for some distance before slewing to the right and leaving the concrete surface.

S7 crash 
© Empics  

Russian authorities confirm 124 people lost ther lives in the crash

This has led to speculation among Russian pilots that there might have been asymmetric thrust-reverser deployment or braking, but no official sources will confirm or deny it at this stage. Having left the runway, the aircraft continued well beyond its end, crashing through the airport boundary wall and colliding with a number of buildings. It burst into flames almost immediately.

Russia's emergency situations ministry confirmed there were 79 survivors and 124 fatalities among the 195 passengers and eight crew. The Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), charged with overseeing the investigation into the fatal runway overrun, says that while the aircraft's CVR is a solid-state recorder, the FDR is a magnetic-tape device.

"According to the preliminary visual inspection, the state of the CVR is satisfactory," says MAK. "On the FDR there are traces of destruction to electrical sockets and damage that will demand special work during the opening of the recorder and preparation of the information for decoding."

Source: Flight International