Failure of thrust reversers likely caused Vnukovo crash-landing

The crash of a Red Wings Tupolev Tu-204 airliner at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on December, 29, 2012, was likely caused by a mechanical malfunction, Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

"The failure of the thrust reversers helping a crew stop an aircraft on a slippery runway is the most likely cause of the Red Wings Tu-204 passenger airliner crash at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on Dec. 29," Kommersant said citing sources from a commission investigating the accident.

The crew landed the plane basically well, although somewhat carelessly, as the plane's landing speed was 250 km/h, while normally it should have been between 225 and 245 km/h, and it also overshot the landing marks by several hundred meters, it said.

Nevertheless, specialists believe these circumstances were not critical as such, as even the remaining runway stretch was long enough for an empty Tu-204 to safely decelerate even with moderate tailwind had the thrust reversers worked properly.

However, the thrust reversers of both engines failed, and the wheel brakes could not ensure efficient deceleration, the newspaper says.

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