Russian Defense Ministry reveals cause of Tu-154 crash
The Russian defense ministry’s Tu-154 airliner might have crashed near the Black Sea city of Sochi in December 2016 due to the pilot’s error, the ministry said.
"The investigation has established that the crash could have been caused by spatial disorientation (situational unawareness) of the pilot which resulted in his erroneous actions in piloting the aircraft," the defense ministry said in a statement.
"The commission has not revealed any violations of current requirements regarding passenger seating in the Tu-154 cabin along with the weight and balance settings of the loaded cargo, which was 150 kilograms. Also, violations have not been found in fueling the aircraft at Sochi airport and an impact of external factors has not been revealed," TASS cited the ministry as saying.
The investigative commission brought together the Defense Ministry’s experts, officials from the Transport Ministry, Interstate Aviation Committee, Industry and Trade Ministry alongside experts from the Tupolev aircraft manufacturer. They "meticulously assessed the circumstances prior to the crash and examined technical characteristics of the Tu-154 flight since its taking off from Sochi Airport," it said.
A Russian defense ministry Tu-154 bound for Syria crashed in the early morning on December 25, 2016 shortly after taking off from Sochi airport. There were 92 people on board the aircraft, including eight crew members and 84 passengers.