Was The Cockpit Voice Recorder Tampered With On A Nordwind A321?

Russian investigators are accusing a Nordwind flight that took place in January of having its cockpit voice recorder…

Was The Cockpit Voice Recorder Tampered With On A Nordwind A321?

Russian investigators are accusing a Nordwind flight that took place in January of having its cockpit voice recorder tampered with. The Airbus A321 departed from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and experienced a hard landing in Antalya, Turkey, on January 10th. As a result, the aircraft suffered severe damage.

Russian airline, Nordwind allegedly had its cockpit voice recordings tampered with during an incident that occurred five months ago. Photo: Getty Images

According to FlightGlobal, investigators state the voice recorder was allegedly erased and placed in another plane, but then lodged back in the VQ-BRS aircraft before the inquiry was commissioned.

What went down?

Suspicions initially arose after initial investigations retrieved 2h and 4min of recording overall, but “there was no record of the incident on January 10th”, as reported in FlightGlobal.

The Interstate Aviation Committee’s investigations found only a few seconds of information relating to the incident.

The situation became even more dubious after they obtained recordings from a flight the following day, on January 11th. Additionally, records from January 13th hinted at the foul play involved. Discussions among maintenance personnel surrounded “pushing the cockpit voice recorder ‘erase’ button.”

Nordwind Airlines
Nordwind Airlines is accused by the Interstate Aviation Committee of being implicated in meddling with cockpit voice recordings. Photo: Getty Images

Eventually, the committee concluded that a maintenance facility in Antalya, RMS Technic, placed both cockpit voice and flight recorders in another A321 aircraft. After that, the plane flew back to Russia, and NW Technic removed the recorders once more.

The investigators claimed that the recorders, stashed in hand luggage on an Aeroflot plane, landed back in Antalya. RMS Technic proceeded to refit the recorders into the damaged aircraft. Thus, investigators believe Nordwind Airlines, along with RMS Technic and NW Technic, are complicit in the incident.

Simple Flying has reached out to Nordwind Airlines for comment but did not hear back before publication.

Flight N4 1801 in January

Simple Flying had also previously reported on the incident earlier this year. Nordwind Airlines is a Russian leisure airline mainly operating out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Carrying seven crew members on board, flight N41801 from Moscow flew to Antalya on January 10th. The nose-gear plunged its way into the cabin floor and the fuselage of the VQ-BRS aircraft. Fortunately, there was no injury to any individuals on board.

FlightGlobal reported recent findings yesterday after there was an analysis of the accident. The autopilot and auto-thrust “were disengaged during the base leg, and the aircraft was flown manually during the final approach.”

Nordwind A321
A Nordwind Airbus A321 suffered heavy damage upon landing in Antalya in January this year. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

The nose-gear hit Antalya’s runway 36C with a 2.64g impact and recoiled after the pilot pushed the sidestick forward suddenly. This resulted “in a sudden, sharp reduction in pitch at a rate of 9°/s.”

Things went awry soon after, and several systems onboard began failing. The crew also claimed that the landing-gear lever jammed.

Hard landing incidents 

Hard landings are no stranger in the aviation industry as they arise from multiple factors—for instance, technical malfunctions, inexperienced pilots, heavy aircraft, and weather conditions. A bounced landing, on the other hand, can occur if the airspeed is too high and the plane lands before its ready.

Singapore Airlines A350
Singapore Airlines aircraft underwent 17 hours of repair after a hydraulic issue on a flight to Delhi in 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Last May, Singapore Airlines experienced a hard landing upon arriving in Delhi due to a nose wheel glitch. Similarly, Delta Air Lines suffered a rough touchdown in Portugal, after the nose gear landed too hard on the runway.

The bright side is that when it comes to hard landings, damage usually only affects the aircraft and passengers remain safe, albeit a little frazzled.

Did you hear about the Nordwind Airlines incident? Do you think there was meddling involved with the voice recorders? Let us know in the comments.

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Air New Zealand’s International Capacity Is Down 95%

Air New Zealand has extended its reduced schedule of international flying through to August 31. With just a…

Air New Zealand’s International Capacity Is Down 95%

Air New Zealand has extended its reduced schedule of international flying through to August 31. With just a handful of services to a limited range of destinations, overall international capacity is down 95% on levels achieved before the pandemic struck.

Air New Zealand has pushed its reduced international flight schedule through until the end of August. Photo: Getty Images

The airline’s strategy and alliances officer, Nick Judd, tried to put the best light on the dire state of affairs yesterday. In a statement, he said.

“While it’s unfortunate the majority of our international network remains canceled for the foreseeable future, we support the return of safe flying if borders re-open and will update our international network if and when possible.”

Just over twenty international services a week

As the lockdown eases in New Zealand, the airline has ramped up its domestic flying, restarting some routes and putting previously unseen planes on some sectors, including a thrice-weekly Dreamliner service between Christchurch and Auckland.

But with borders closed in most countries, international flying remains in the doldrums. Yesterday, Air New Zealand confirmed it would continue to operate the following international sectors through to the end of August.

  • Auckland – Sydney – Auckland (four times a week)
  • Auckland – Melbourne – Auckland (three times a week)
  • Auckland – Brisbane – Auckland (three times a week)
  • Auckland – Nuie – Auckland (weekly)
  • Sydney – Norfolk Island – Sydney (weekly)
  • Brisbane – Norfolk Island – Brisbane (weekly)
  • Auckland – Los Angeles – Auckland (five times a week)
  • Auckland – Hong Kong – Auckland (two times a week)
International capacity is down 95% on 12 months ago. Photo: Tom Boon / Simple Flying

Air New Zealand notes there are current entry restrictions in their regular Pacific destinations of  Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Rarotonga, New Caledonia, and French Polynesia. The airline indicates that if these entry restrictions lift, weekly flights to these destinations will commence.

Jobs lost as Air New Zealand works to halt cash burn

Last week, Air New Zealand announced it would permanently stand down 1,300 employees, with over half that number long-haul and mid-haul employees. The pain hasn’t been felt just among Air New Zealand’s frontline staff. The airline’s senior executive team has downsized from nine to six people. Air New Zealand expects it will take several years to get back to normal. In the meantime, it is warning of a smaller airline and some heavy losses.

The most recent job losses form part of a broader workforce reduction of approximately 4,000 employees (30% of the overall Air New ZealaCapacind workforce) that is expected to save USD$229 million in payroll expenses.

“We are preparing for a scenario in which the airline is still 30 percent smaller than pre-COVID levels in two years’ time,” chief financial officer Jeff McDowall told the New Zealand Herald.

Get ready for a smaller Air New Zealand. Photo: Tom Boon / Simple Flying.

The airline is expecting to report a loss of USD$341 million in the 2020 fiscal year. By reducing outgoings and expenses, Air New Zealand hopes to cut its monthly cash burn to around USD$33 million. The airline is sitting on cash reserves of USD$390 million and has a USD$550 million government loan facility it can draw against if needed.

“We know that demand for air travel will eventually rebound, so we are cognisant of striking the right balance between removing cost from the business and ensuring the airline is in a strong position to ramp up as demand recovers,” said Mr McDowall.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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