Russian investigators probing the forced landing in a field of Ural Airlines Airbus A321 are awaiting the results of ornithological studies in order to complete a final analysis of the accident.
The aircraft came down exactly one year ago, on 15 August 2019, shortly after take-off from Moscow Zhukovsky bound for Simferopol in Crimea.
Both CFM International CFM56 engines on the aircraft (VQ-BOZ) lost power, apparently after multiple bird-strikes, and the twinjet carried out an emergency landing in a cornfield some 10km from Zhukovsky airport.
Airbus has modelled the flight, and investigators have assessed the ability of the aircraft to maintain flight after a flock collision. Complete disassembly of both engines has enabled the inquiry to examine the nature and cause of damage and compare these with the results of certification tests.
Genetic work has also been conducted on the bird species involved, but the work on a special group studying issues including flight support regarding ornithology, and the impact of landfill sites, water, and other areas on the bird risk has “not been completed”, says the Interstate Aviation Committee – attributing the hold-up to restrictions relating to the pandemic.
Once it receives the findings of this group, the inquiry will finish its assessment of actions by the crew, air traffic controllers, airport services, and the flight-support personnel.
Several other aspects of the inquiry’s work have already been completed, including analysis of the A321’s centralised fault display and engine-control units, the airframe, data from control facilities, the characteristics of the crew, and the support from air navigation and weather services.