December air crash near Moscow caused by pilot error

The crash of a Russian Tupolev Tu-154 airliner in December which killed two and injured over 80 was caused by pilot error, a flight safety watchdog said on Tuesday.

The Dagestan Airlines plane with 163 passengers and 10 crewmembers on board flying from Moscow to Makhachkala, Dagestan, made an emergency landing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on December 4.

It overshot the runway and hit an earth mound, breaking into three parts.

The accident happened due to “the erroneous action by the crew in flying and landing [the aircraft] with one functional engine,” the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) said in a report.

It listed a series of mistakes, including the inadvertent shutdown of a fuel pump by the flight engineer, failure by the crew to reactivate a reserve onboard generator, the lack of teamwork and coordination of action.

Insufficient pilot training, especially in handling emergencies, was a significant factor in the crash, the report said.

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