France's BEA says "the dysfunctions noted in the crew's performance are too significant for them to be merely circumstantialIt would be desirable to widen the scope of the report to include the structure of operations."

One problem, which the MAK report acknowledges, is the difference between a Russian air traffic controller's power to exercise authority compared with the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard normally followed by Armavia, in which the captain should make decisions about whether to continue an approach and land. The BEA says: "Even though this was an international flight, the Sochi controller managed the flight as if it were a domestic flight, with the tacit agreement of the captain, which led him to intervene in the latter's decisions...The controller transformed himself into a decision-maker for the aircraft manoeuvring." It says questions should be asked concerning this "dual piloting".

Source: Flight International